Black Immigrant Daily News
Tornadoes Swim Club has hailed the aquatics athletes who were recognised at the recent RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation national awards ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
Three swimmers of the club, which is domiciled in Kingston, were named recipients of a national award for their successes in both swimming and triathlon over the past year.
Head coach of the Tornadoes, Wendy Lee said the three awardees “have been striving towards excellence since they were eight years old.”
Leading the pack in swimming is the now overseas-based, 18 -year-old Sabrina Lyn, a former Tornadoes Swim Club member, who copped the 2022 Female Swimmer of the Year award.
Lyn set a national individual record in the 100m butterfly. She also won other medals including gold at the inaugural Caribbean Games in Guadeloupe and set the 200m butterfly record at the CCCAN Swimming Championship in Barbados.
Lyn who was recently accepted to Louisiana State University said that receiving the award has been a “very honouring experience” and said that she felt inspired to walk in the footsteps of Jamaica’s swimming doyenne Alia Atkinson who also received the national honour. “This makes me feel like I am on track to represent Jamaica and my club and to walk in her footsteps on the Olympic stage.”
Rihanna Gayle won the Female Triathlete of the Year award. She copped first place at the Jamaica National Championship Triathlon and was a silver medalist at the Carifta Triathlon, Aquathlon, and Mixed Team Relay Championships in Bermuda last November. Gayle also secured silver in the World Triathlon Development Regional Cup hosted in Santa Domingo in October.
A 17-year-old student at the St Andrew High School for Girls, Gayle said ” It was a big motivation for me to be there at the ceremony and to be recognized among all the great athletes in Jamaica. Triathlon is a unique sport, and it takes a lot of work, but I am also willing to work hard to accomplish more and to go further in the triathlon.”
Israel Allen, 16, a student at Jamaica College and national triathlon champion was elated to receive the male award.
Allen has represented Jamaica on various occasions in both competitive swimming and triathlon and has won various awards including a bronze medal for Jamaica at the 2022 Carifta Aquathlon.
Lee further pointed out that “these awards are indeed a physical manifestation of the hard work that we continue to put into producing Jamaica’s best aquatics athletes and as head coach, I am extremely proud of the strides that all our athletes are taking led of course by Sabrina, Rihanna, and Israel.”
Lee credits the round of successes the club secured in 2022 to the holistic approach that the club takes to athlete development. “All of our swimmers are actively pursuing big goals both in and outside of the pool. We are committed to age-appropriate training of the highest standards for all our swimmers, and we are truly honoured to continue to facilitate and nurture this tradition of excellence.”
In 2022, the Tornadoes secured victory in seven of nine local meets and are already preparing for what is expected to be a continued success in the 2023 season.