Sport

Alia, coach laud swim camp

Ruddy Allen

Monday, January 13, 2014    

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THE 2013 Sportswoman of the year runner-up and GraceKennedy ambassador, Alia Shanee Atkinson, has lauded her three-day national swimming camp for excellence following yesterday's climax at the National Aquatic Centre, National Stadium.

The Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) had collaborated with the three-time Olympian and her coach Christopher Anderson, who is the head coach of South Florida Aquatics.

"This is the second camp that we have done, the first one was a one-day session and it was a success, and so we have decided to do a three-day camp. The children have showed extreme passion in swimming and maybe we can develop better swimmers out of this," beamed Atkinson.

"My expectation have already been met, the parents have come out as well as coaches and they are talking to each other. Everybody is getting along great and we hope that they can bring in swimmers from outside, so we can build on this foundation," she explained.

It was a long and hot morning yesterday, but the look on the faces of the swimmers, whose ages ranged from 13-17, told that they really enjoyed themselves for the three hours spent in the pool.

Twenty swimmers, nine girls and 11 boys took part on the final day, as they were extensively trained by coach Anderson on the basic techniques of swimming, such as kick sets, fly swim, the different strokes, as well as the individual medley (IM). The younger swimmers were later divided into three categories -- distance swimmers, the strokes swimmer and the IM to test their speed, strength and competitiveness.

Anderson said the reason for the camp was to teach young swimmers the fundamentals of swimming and to get everyone together and work as a team to uplift the sport.

"I am teaching them the fundamentals of swimming so that they can become like Alia. I expect them to develop more and learn a lot from this camp. In due time they will develop on flexibility to make them come off the wall better and to develop speed as well. I am teaching them to have discipline and be responsible and take ownership of what they are doing," Anderson told the Jamaica Observer.

The coach said that although he is teaching them to swim, he expects more from them and that they should continue the hard work.

"I want them to be more than just swimmers, I want them to become experts. I want everyone to just come together and I hope they can continue their hard work cause one day one of them could be the next Alia," he said.

The camp was jointly sponsored by GraceKennedy Money Services and Pure Water and was conducted from Friday through to yesterday.

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