JIS News

Story Highlights

  • GraceKennedy Money Services’ (GKMS) has announced its sponsorship of Olympian and national swimming champion, Alia Atkinson.
  • Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley congratulated Alia.
  • Alia stated that opportunities will also be created for other athletes to develop their talents and skills.

Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, has welcomed GraceKennedy Money Services’ (GKMS) sponsorship of Olympian and national swimming champion, Alia Atkinson.

Such tangible support from the private sector, she said, is in keeping with the Government’s national sport policy.

“Our sport policy lends itself to coordinating these kinds of partnerships,” the Minister stated at a ceremony held on Thursday, January 9, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, where the announcement of the sponsorship was made.

She congratulated Alia, noting that “your dedication, discipline (and) hard work over the years have paid off”.

She said that young people across the island “can take a page out of Alia’s book, that determination and hard work, brings success.”

Stressing that her swimming career will be improved through the support from GKMS, Alia stated that opportunities will also be created for other athletes to develop their talents and skills, putting Jamaica and the Caribbean further on the global sporting map.

“It is my hope to be a great ambassador for swimming through your sponsorship. My mission will also be to place Jamaica and the Caribbean on the world map for swimming, and to raise awareness at a national level, for the sport of swimming,” she added.

Chief Executive Officer at GKMS, Michelle Allen, said her company stands behind Alia’s dreams for Jamaica to produce more swimmers and will be extending support to the National Squad Swimming Camp this weekend, where Alia and her coach will pass on some skills to Jamaica’s future swimmers.

Miss Allen called on other corporate sponsors to stand with the country’s athletes, so that they can perform on any world stage.

“We recognize that not just track and field, but all sporting programmes need support. It is amazing to see just how many of our athletes are able to perform with whatever little they get. I call on corporate Jamaica to join us and stand with and behind our athletes. Their ability to produce on any world stage does so much for us as a nation, far more than we could ever do for them,” she stated.

Alia has had an illustrious career in swimming. In 2013, she placed second in the World Cup Series Championship, winning 11 gold, six silver and seven bronze medals; and capping the second fastest time in history in the 100-yard breaststroke at the American Winter National Championship.

At the 2012 London Olympics, she placed fourth in the finals of the 100-metre breaststroke. Alia is ranked second in the world for the 50 and 100 metres short course breaststroke.