Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson, who holds two world records, will receive a monthly stipend from the International Swimming League to help sustain her in her preparations to compete in the rescheduled 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Atkinson is one of 320 swimmers who will receive a monthly payment of US$1,500 via a financial grant known as the ISL Solidarity Program, which is designed to provide a guaranteed monthly wage for a period of 10 months beginning in September 2020 and ending in July of 2021. Some of the swimmers will receive $3500 per month due to bonuses relating to their status and success. The total amount of funding provided through the program is $11 million; $6 million is being set aside for wages, and another $5 million allocated for prize money for a shortened second season that includes numerous innovations.
Representing Team Iron, Atkinson is included in the group of 320 swimmers and their coaches from 10 teams that received invitations to an all-expense-paid training and competition camp that will last five weeks and is scheduled to run from October 14 to November 17, 2020, depending on relevant information on the coronavirus pandemic.
The 10 teams will participate in an ISL-format meet every weekend that will feature four teams competing at one time. Innovations are slated for the condensed season and will include Skins on all strokes, back-to-back races operating on a “knockout” basis, with the two remaining swimmers competing in a head-to-head final. Other innovations include split-time events and a 100-meter medley. The final match of the shortened 2020 series – depending on conditions associated with the coronavirus – would be held the last weekend of the camp, approximately a month later at a different location. London is among the cities that have indicated an interest in hosting the events. Australia, Budapest, Japan, and Florida and other locations under consideration for the camp.