Swimwear brand Speedo has joined forces with the Black Swimming Association in a joint mission to get more BIPOC communities enjoying the water safely.
The partnership comes after the swimwear brand and association worked collaboratively on the launch of A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim and a social media Q&A session highlighting the challenges and barriers faced by the black community and swimming.
According to official figures released by Sport England, 95% of black adults and 80% of black children in England do not swim. In a bid to tackle this damning statistic, the BSA was founded and acts as an advocacy group that addresses issues of diversity, inclusion, participation, engagement and representation in aquatics.
The BSA is dedicated in its mission to give BIPOC communities a seat at the table. Not only this, the association is also committed to investigating the barriers that restrict BIPOC communities from getting into the water and how they can make changes for the better. Working with national swimming bodies, brands and charities, the BSA’s goal is to equip BIPOC communities with the relevant aquatic skills as well as educate on water safety, drowning prevention measures and the importance of learning to swim.
As an ongoing partnership, Speedo will provide support to key forthcoming BSA projects, along with providing swimwear and equipment which will be used to support organisations working with the BSA to facilitate greater participation in swimming.
Rob Hicking, brand manager at Speedo, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with the BSA and to assist them in their objectives of education, advocacy and support. We believe that everybody, everywhere, should be able to safely get in the water and experience the rewards that swimming can bring.
“We are committed to encouraging and empowering all people to get swimming and fully support the BSA’s fight in raising awareness and addressing barriers for the BAME community. We believe the partnership will strengthen our shared mission for everyone to enjoy great times in the water.”
Co-founder of BSA, Ed Accura said: “Speedo were a great help to the BSA when we launched ‘A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim’ and as such we are delighted to partner with them on a more formal basis.
“The stats around participation in swimming amongst the black community are truly startling and we at the BSA are incredibly passionate about raising those numbers, but also educating people on how to be safe in and near the water.
“Ever since I was a young boy, I hid behind the stereotypes that surround black people and swimming and used it as a way to avoid learning how to swim. Once I took the plunge, I knew that I had to work as hard as I can to make sure that more black people learnt to swim.”