Management committee set up to oversee amateur swimming
National body to hold elections next month
Stabroek News
January 14, 2004

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A management committee has been set up to run the affairs of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) until the association's Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held on February 28 this year.

According to a source close to the association, its president K. Juman-Yassin and general secretary Charles Corbin tendered their resignations just short of a year ago.

The source told Stabroek Sport that the association has not held an AGM in three years, although according to its constitution, elections of office bearers are due by February 28 of each year.

The source disclosed that the reason for elections not being held is the non-submission of the association's audited financial statement for the past three years (2000-2003).

"They (association) couldn't sort out their finances so we didn't have elections. A lot of receipts could not be accounted for and this made some parents and officials of the five GASA affiliates uncomfortable," the source stated.

According to the source, early last year both Juman-Yassin and Corbin resigned. "Rather than have GASA squashed, we decided to put a management committee in place and will have the AGM on February 28 this year."

The management committee comprises Dolphin Speed Swim Club member Clifford Zammett (chairman), Dorado member Dr Karen Pilgrim (secretary) and Mario Perreira (treasurer).

Vibert Charles is the chairman of the Technical Committee of which Mary Chung (Haimara) and Jennifer Thomas (Silver Sharks) are members. Stephanie Fraser is a member of the management committee and Monica Benn heads the fund raising committee,

The source disclosed that a sub-committee has also been set up to review the association's constitution.

Corbin had been general secretary of GASA since 1993, while Juman-Yassin became president in 1995.

"We were able to run off and participate in major meets over the past three years and this was due to the past executive paying our affiliation fees to the various international bodies. The funds for paying these expenses came from the registration fees of the various club members."

Last year the association sent individuals and teams to the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain in July and the South American Championships in Brazil.

"Perreira has really done a lot in sorting out the association's finances, but we are still in the red. While we have paid our affiliation to FINA, the world governing body, Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas, which includes Latin America and CONSANAT, we still owe local business houses and parents of local swimmers," the source disclosed.

According to the source, Jack Alli and Sons used to audit the association's accounts, but the management committee hopes to contract Maurice Solomon to do the job.

"There was not a cent in the association's bank account when the management committee was set up and we had to run off a series of fund raising activities to pay off our affiliation fees to the relevant bodies. This amounted to approximately US$500 per year."

The committee's plans for the year include Guyana's participation in major compulsory meets such as the CONSANAT meet in one of the South American countries; it was held in Brasilia last year, the Goodwill meet in Trinidad, the Short Course (25-metre) Championships in the USA and the 2004 Greece Olympics.

Guyana's top swimmer Orlando Thom did not make the qualifying time for this year's Olympics and according to the source, this was due to him (Thom) suffering from malaria one week prior to the Olympic trials which were held in Trinidad last month.

Thom is currently in Trinidad attending school while training with the Tidal Wave Swim Club.

"We are still entitled to send someone to the Olympics since we are affiliated to FINA. We were really hoping that we could have a swimmer at the Olympics and our hopes rested with Thom making the qualifying time," the source lamented.

"Being an affiliate of FINA, we are entitled to quite a lot of technical assistance and while those that used to be in authority are aware of this, we at the other end were not informed, now that we are in contact with FINA through the net, we have become aware of the assistance we can garner."