Four time Olympic champion Alia Atkinson has long been known as Jamaica’s most successful swimmer, most recently securing second place in the 2016 World Cup series overall standing. Alia is the current world record holder for the 50m breaststroke short course, breaking the record at the FINA World Cup Tour event in Tokyo in 2016.
Alia is passionate about drowning prevention. She has worked hard to bring water safety awareness and drowning prevention skills and topics to the public, during her role as Special Project Manager for ‘Improving Caribbean & Minority Swimming in the World.’ As part of this role, Alia helped create children’s book, Water Safety for Kids, in six different languages to bring some representation to the children of colour and educate them on proper water skills.
When talking about drowning prevention and why it’s a topic so close to her heart, Alia explained; “Coming from a small island, many of us do not know how to swim. We need to educate the public and get the younger and older generation to learn how to swim, not as a sport, but as a life skill” Alia Atkinson
As a swimmer passionate about drowning prevention, Alia has shared her top ten water safety tips…
1. Do not fight a rip current, let it take you out and then swim back to shore.
2. Try not to swim with loose clothing.
3. Do not swim during a storm.
4. Always swim when others are around.
5. If you see someone drowning, go find help (a lifeguard or guardian).
6. Never swim right after eating, as this may cause cramps or nausea.
7. Pay attention to your surroundings, the waves can take you away.
8. If you are not a strong swimmer, do not go further than you can stand comfortably.
9. Always check the water/sand for debris or broken glass before entering.
10. Always check the weather for storms, rip currents, or water activity before heading to the beach.
To find out more about Alia go here: - www.aliaatkinson.com