MORE and more these days we hear of the nation’s young people setting their goals for achievement whether in sports, education, the arts or entertainment. Sharks Swim Club 100-metres Backstroke and Freestyle swimmer, 11-year-old Allysia Alfred is among the latest of these and her goal is the Olympics in either 2020 or 2024.
The Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School Form 1 student participated recently in the annual Racers Lucian Grand Prix Swim Championship at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre (RHAC), finishing in second place in the 100-metres freestyle.
“The Olympics is the main goal for me, but I need not neglect my studies with the various midterm exams leading to CXC,” she admitted.
This is Allysia’s story as she told The VOICE about her future in the sport of swimming.
Allysia: I started swimming from two years old, but while attending private school at Bonne Terre Preparatory, I took swimming seriously. I loved the water and my mother encouraged me to continue. For me, it’s not all about competing, but the learning experience as well. My mother comes to the RHAC to support me on every occasion, and I can hear her shouting, “Go, Allysia, go!”
The VOICE: What is your favourite subject at school?
The VOICE: Why Mathematics and not Science or Social Studies?
Allysia: Everything around us speaks the language of Mathematics, and it’s easy for me.
The VOICE: When not in the pool creating a splash, what do you do, especially during your spare time?
Allysia: I do a lot of reading, go on my phone, study and dance.
The VOICE: As your swimming career unfolds, what are some of the events you would like to compete in?
Allysia: Representing Saint Lucia at the next Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Swimming Championship in the Under-12 age group category, then on to the Carifta Swim Championships. I am taking it one step at a time.
The VOICE: Who is your favourite swimmer, and why?
Allysia: My favourite swimmer is USA Olympian, Michael Phelps. His 5 golds and 1 silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games was a high point and I feel that it is something great to aspire to.
The VOICE: You’re still at a tender age, so what advice would you give to young people?
Allysia: Be positive, never give up and go for your dreams.
Meanwhile, Coach of the Sharks Swim Club, Andy Edwards, says that Allysia is focused on the task at hand, managing the work load nicely. He said: “We are starting to see some results. I have been working with her for the last 10 weeks and it is really a good thing. She can turn out to be another Siona Huxley or a Katie Kyle if we take care of her. On the technical aspect, we are looking at stuff like that. Saint Lucia will be seeing a lot more of her soon as she is still new to this. We will be taking good care of her.”