By Sharon Robb
July 16, 2014—In preparation for the July 23-August 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the Jamaican national team has settled into training camp in Corby, England.
South Florida Aquatic Club’s three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson leads the six-swimmer contingent that is currently training at the Corby East Midlands International Pool, just 200 miles south of the Scottish border in the heart of England.
Alia Atkinson is joined on the team roster by Jevon Atkinson (no relation), Zara Bailey, Trudi Ann Patrick, Dominic Walter and Timothy Wynter.
Jevon Atkinson came out of retirement to represent his country in Scotland. Diver Yona Knight-Wisdom will also represent Jamaica at the Games. It is the first time Jamaica will be represented in diving.
Sarasota YMCA teenagers Michelle and Keanan Dols were also named to the Jamaican national team for the Games but will not be attending the Commonwealth Games.
Three of SOFLO’s top age group swimmers, Jordon Colon, Star Fassler and Olivia Katcher also made the trip and is training with the international team.
SOFLO coach Chris Anderson and Atkinson have trained at the facility before in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics.
The Jamaica Commonwealth team and staff are being treated like royalty.
The city’s Mayor, Anthony Dady, met with the team and sixteen local school children also visited for autographs and question-and-answer session about the importance of education and the Commonwealth competition.
Two local radio stations also interviewed Anderson, Alia Atkinson and Jevon Atkinson, who trained with SOFLO (formerly Comets Swim Team) from 2004 to 2008 and qualified for the 2008 Olympics.
SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson is serving as head coach of the Jamaican team during the camp and Commonwealth Games.
“We made it,” Anderson said. “Our training trip is growing better than expected. We had a solid post-travel washout and very good morning workout gym session and then power and speed workout at night. I am excited to see how it goes.”
In other SOFLO news:
One of Jamaica’s top swimmers Timothy Wynter will be training with the South Florida Aquatic Club at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.
Wynter, 18, has three national records in the 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke and four short course records in the 50- and 100 backstroke and 50- and 100-meter butterfly.
Wynter competed in the Short Course World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey at age 16.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org