World champ Atkinson encourages St. Lucian swimmers to rise above their fears

By April 29, 2019

World champion Alia Atkinson believes there is a lot of swimming talent in the Caribbean but a lack of confidence is holding it back. She hopes to unleash this talent with swimming clinics like the one she hosted in St. Lucia with young swimmers last week Thursday and Friday, April 25 and 26.

More than 30 swimmers attended the Unleashing Greatness clinic that Yasmin Tyson Aquatics Development Officer described as a success.

There were about 18 swimmers in two groups, eight and under to the 13-14 age group, Tyson said. They also added a learn-to-swim component to the clinic that was attended by 19 children from Soufrière.

”This clinic served as a motivating factor for our swimmers. Most of them were in awe that they were actually meeting a World Record holder and Olympian,” she said.

“It is truly amazing to see the interaction with Alia and how she is able to come down to their level. It is going quite well so far we are truly impressed and we won’t hesitate to have her back next year.”

Atkinson said she always knew that there was an abundance of talent in the region but she had little or no idea of how much a lack of confidence was preventing it from blossoming.

“What I didn’t know about was the lack of confidence that a lot of us share. Confidence to be able to do it, to come out of the Caribbean, to be able to compete internationally and get on the world stage as well,” said the Jamaica who won two gold medals at the World Swimming Championships in China last December.

“It is very hard for them at a young age to see that and have the representation. So I was very proactive in building them mentally as well, getting them outside their comfort zone and showing them that with a little more effort they can achieve things that they didn’t think they could before, they can rise up to challenges and obstacles and they can overcome it.”

The 50m short-course breaststroke world-record holder said she encouraged them to overcome their fears.

“Failure is only a stepping stone. It is not something to hinder them, or to lead them down but something to grow in to strengthen their weakness and rise up again,” she said.

“That was what the clinic was about. To be myth busters in their own lives.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • It's back to the Zouks for St. Lucia in the Caribbean Premier League It's back to the Zouks for St. Lucia in the Caribbean Premier League

    The St Lucia Zouks will replace the St Lucia Stars for the 2019 CPL season following the recent termination of the participation agreement with the company operating the Stars franchise.

  • Atkinson opens World Cup tour with 50m breaststroke gold Atkinson opens World Cup tour with 50m breaststroke gold

    Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson took the gold medal in her pet event, the 50m breaststroke at the opening leg of the FINA World Cup in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday.

  • ‘Worst dive’ brings Knight-Wisdom silver surprise ‘Worst dive’ brings Knight-Wisdom silver surprise

    Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom’s silver medal in the 1-metre springboard event at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru may not have been a complete surprise, but the dive he used to get him on the podium was.

    Knight-Wisdom, posted a video of a backward triple from the three-metre diving board, saying it was crazy to think this was his worst dive in the not-too-distant past.

    “Can we just take a minute to appreciate that his used to be my worst dive on 3M,” said Knight-Wisdom.

    The dive gave Knight-Wisdom 81.6 points on the 1-metre board, with one judge scoring it as a nine.

    Those points went a long way to helping Knight-Wisdom, Jamaica’s first Olympic diver, to 429.90 overall points and a silver medal.

    “Someone tell me how that’s possible please,” said Knight-Wisdom, who takes on the 3-metre event today.

    Knight-Wisdom received congratulations from the Jamaica Olympic Association and minister of sport, Olivia Grange.

    Grange said: Yona himself said his silver medal was a fitting gift for Jamaica on Emancipation Day and on behalf of the nation I wish to thank him for his historic performance.”

    Knight-Wisdom is the first diver to ever win a medal at the Pan Am games for Jamaica.

    Another medal came Jamaica’s way at the Pan Am games through an unlikely source, as super heavyweight boxer, one of the few from the island, Ricardo Brown, mined bronze.

    This wasn’t the first-ever for Jamaica, but it is the first in 16 years.

    The Jamaica Olympic Association and Jamaican trainer Dewith Frazer, were credited with helping to achieve the feat, as the two came together to put on a one-month training camp for Brown in the United States that went a long way to making him more prepared.

    "At that gym, Ricardo was able to work with boxers in his weight class and this helped him a great deal because in Jamaica there is a scarcity of boxers in that weight category,” said Leroy Brown, Jamaica Boxing Board General Secretary.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.