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Jamaica: Waterfront Swimmers offering an alternative to gang life

For some, diving may be regarded as a risky activity, but in one inner-city community in Kingston, it is being used, though not initially intended, as a tool to steer young men away from crime.

On any given Sunday, more than 20 youth from the Parade Gardens community, some as young as five years old, can be seen swimming and showing off their diving skills on the waterfront in downtown Kingston.

Propelled by their love and passion for the activity, the group, who calls themselves the ‘Waterfront Swimmers’, meets regularly to swim, dive and teach others from their community who are interested, how to swim and dive.

On Sunday, The Gleaner caught up with the group on the waterfront.

“For most of us, our love for swimming started from our parents. Most of them did the same thing in their younger days. They went swimming, and some of them were even fisherwomen and fishermen, so the sea is a part of us,” said 20-year-old Caribbean Maritime University student Kareen Bennett.

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