HCM Issue 9 2021

Page 30

HCM people

Our vision is a future with ethnic diversity in aquatics

Danielle Obe Chair, The Black Swimming Association Why is the Black Swimming Association needed? Swimming isn’t just a sport, it’s a gateway into the world of aquatics and most importantly, an essential life skill everyone should have for their safety and wellbeing. In spite of this, however, our research shows that 95 per cent of Black adults, 80 per cent of Black children, 93 per cent of Asian adults and 79 per cent of Asian children in England either can’t or don’t swim. Between 2016 and 2019, of the 10 per cent of athletes funded by UK Sport who were of Asian, Black and mixed heritage, only 1 per cent were Black, while among the aquatic workforce only 3 per cent of lifeguards, 3 per cent swimming


Issue 9 2021 ©Cybertrek 2021

photo: danielle obe black swimming association

Obe (left) and the BSA board want to spread their mission worldwide

volunteers and 2 per cent of swimming coaches are of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage. There is no representation at senior leadership or board level. We can’t drive forward inclusion and diversity in aquatics without first tackling inherent systemic and institutional inequalities – we need to address the economic and social disparities between ethnic groups in the aquatics sector in the UK, which have led to these disproportionately low participation rates within African, Caribbean and Asian communities. Established in 2020, the Black Swimming Association (BSA) began with a single commitment – to be the bridge between the aquatics sector and these disenfranchised communities.