Two members of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee were on Saipan last week to hold a technical official course.
Lesley Huckins, who is also the president of Swimming New Zealand, and Australia’s Ryan Arblaster conducted a two-day course attended by more than 20 swimmers/parents/officials from Saipan Swim Club, Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan, and Dolphin Club Saipan. The visitors had an eight-hour discussion with the participants last Friday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, focusing on theories on officiating swim competitions. Then Saturday’s three-hour session had participants putting into practice what they have learned in the classroom discussion as they officiated the last local swim meet under the Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation’s calendar of events for 2016-2017.
“We had a very good response from the participants. They were very patient during the morning and afternoon classroom sessions last Friday,” said Huckins, the chair of Swimming New Zealand Technical Advisory Committee. “They also did a good job officiating today’s meet.”
“We received a lot of good questions and I hope we answered them well and they learned from those answers. It was a fantastic experience helping the swimming community in the CNMI. Hopefully, we could see one of them officiating in international or regional tournaments in the future,” Arblaster said.
At the end of the two-day course, participants took a test and received certificates of completion.
NMISF president John Hirsh thanked FINA, Huckins, and Arblaster for visiting Saipan and conducting the course.
“We’re grateful and privileged to have two experts coming here to share their knowledge in officiating swim meets. They were able to provide a wealth of knowledge, not only to swimmers and other local swimming officials, but also to parents and volunteers,” Hirsh said.
“One of our goals in NMISF is to raise the bar of officiating in our meets and we could only do that if our officials are equipped with the proper training and knowledge in officiating competitions. Also, we are a few years away from hosting the 2021 Pacific Mini Games and we need a lot of technical officials to help us run the swim competition in the Games,” added Hirsh, who was one of the participants in the two-day course.
Meanwhile, Huckins and Arblaster had the opportunity to observe CNMI swimmers during last Saturday’s meet and the former was impressed with what she saw at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool in Marpi.
“They have very good techniques and I am sure with continued training and guidance from the coaches, we will see some of them in international competitions,” Huckins said.