Alia deserves national award – Grange

first_imgSports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange believes two-time RJR Sports Foundation National Sports-woman of the Year Alia Atkinson is deserving of a national award. Grange, went on to say that she intends to do her best to try make this a reality for the international swimming standout. “Well, she is deserving of a national award, but the national award is determined by a committee of Cabinet. I certainly would be very happy if she is given such an award, and I will do everything possible to ensure, but protocol dictates that I can’t say she will get an award. What I can say is that I will use my best efforts,” she said. Minister Grange also said that she wouldn’t be surprised if Atkinson was able to win the national Sportswoman of the Year award for the third time in her career. “I am looking forward to more winning medals and more achievements from Alia, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is able to win the Sportswoman of the Year award for a third time,” she said. Grange praised Atkinson for her determination and focus as it relates to her discipline of swimming, as well as her willingness to share her knowledge and experience. “She is very sensitive to wanting to share her experience and her talent with the younger generation. Her determination is something that I have never seen in any other athlete, that sort of spirit and determination and focus towards her discipline, and so, I wish her all the best, and I look forward to her going from strength to strength,” she said. She also acknowledged Atkinson’s impact on black swimmers around the world as the first black world-record holder in swimming, holding the world record in the 100-metre breaststroke. “That is something that is of tremendous tribute to Jamaica and the spirit of the Jamaican woman. Alia has not only represented Jamaica well, but she has represented the African diaspora, and that is something that, for me, is not just about Jamaica now. It’s about the world. She has been able to make people of African descent around the world proud,” she said. – Bradley Jackslast_img