Sun | Jul 21, 2019

Atkinson happy to give back

Published:Monday | July 1, 2019 | 12:42 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Alia Atkinson teaching children to swim at a clinic held at the University of The West Indies swimming pool on Tuesday, December 19, 2017.
Alia Atkinson teaching children to swim at a clinic held at the University of The West Indies swimming pool on Tuesday, December 19, 2017.

For the last 20 years, Marcia Brevett, has committed herself to helping Jamaica’s less fortunate children to know what it is like to enjoy the summer like any normal child.

Brevett, a therapist by profession who resides in the United States, assists Jamaican orphanages with staging camps and treats as her way of giving back and making the children feel special.

But this year, they were in for something even more special as on Friday the children from the Glen Hope and Sunshine children’s homes were given the opportunity to spend the day with Jamaican swim sensation Alia Atkinson, at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Bowl swimming pool, and learn a thing or two from the many times FINA World Championships gold-medal winner.

Atkinson, the reigning RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the year, took the children through basic water manoeuvres, which they thoroughly enjoyed, as did she.

“To give this type of atmosphere to this project, I am glad I could contribute,” Atkinson told The Gleaner“.

A lot of these kids have never gone in the water before or felt safe there. So that’s how this came about, and we partnered with Swim Jamaica to get more instructors out, and UWI was good enough to host us at their pool.

So it all came together, and we saw some potential swimmers.”Atkinson said.

Brevett explained that this year’s project came about as a result of her being church-mates with the Jamaican swim star, who got news of her good deed and decided to offer her assistance.

IMPRESSED

Although Brevett had long admired Atkinson’s kindness, she was even more impressed by her commitment and personal participation in making the project a reality.

“She told me she wanted to start a water-bound programme, and she thought it would be a great thing to do for children homes,” Brevett said.

“So she connected with Swim Jamaica and they were able to do this clinic for orphanages.

“She has a great heart, and she has given publicity to the project. She has just been awesome and encouraging. She has always demonstrated that kindness, and it’s not surprising she wanted to do it and I am even more appreciative of who she is.”

Brevett said that they are planning a follow up session with the swim star.