By Peta-Gay Hodges
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Rowing Federation, which is domiciled at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), is currently on a drive to get interested persons to be a part of the Kingston Rowing Club (KRC).
The club, which falls under the auspices of the Jamaica Rowing Federation, is the arm of the federation that is open to non-CMU students.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on Tuesday (May 22), Director Special Projects and Strategic Initiatives at CMU and Director of Sports for the Jamaica Rowing Federation, Elaine Hayden, explained how the Federation was formed out of a CMU initiative.
“The CMU, which is the premier maritime training institution in the Caribbean, had taken the initiative of inviting persons to consider trying out for a rowing team. The Jamaica Rowing Federation was then established at the CMU, as well as the KRC,” she noted.
Hayden explained that CMU practises the Blue Ocean Philosophy, which is a new approach to strategic thinking and strategic planning.
“What we believe is that we must find new ways of doing things. We must find uncharted waters. We must be innovative in our approach, and we must think outside the box and see how we are going to bring the best services, solutions and products for our students,” she said.
The Director said that rowing is an elite sport, and it exposes students to a new sport and to new opportunities.
“We had to think about something that would add value to our students, and expose them as the global leaders that we are preparing them to be, and something transportable that takes them outside of Jamaica and broadens their perspective,” she added.
According to Hayden, one of the reasons rowing was chosen, is because CMU intends to represent Jamaica at the Olympics in the future. She pointed out that the team almost qualified for the 2016 Olympics.
“We have two athletes who came very close, and it is interesting to note that these two athletes had been rowing for less than a year and that they were competing with persons who had been involved in the sport since they were children, and who had many more years of experience,” she said.
Hayden said that all members of the Jamaica rowing team are CMU students and past students; however, it is open to members of the public who would join through the KRC.
“We are now spreading our wings, so we are out there in search of suitable talent to join us on this journey to Tokyo 2020. This is not a CMU thing. It is a national initiative, and this is how we are going to build capacity and provide avenues for our young people,” she said.