Water safety skills are a very necessary skills that all people (young, old, black, and white) should learn for their safety and overall quality of life. The African American community, in particular, has great disparities when it comes to drowning and other aquatics related accidents. Research shows that African- American and Hispanics have disproportionately no/low swimming ability. Many of us are working hard to increase the the amount of Black and Hispanic people who are not proficient in swimming.
For this years International Water Safety Day, BlackGirlSwim, Diversity In Aquatics, Swim Life Fitness, and Afro Swimmers came together and challenged all of our followers to tell the world that they were #watersafety through a #IamWaterSafety GiveAway!!!! Our goal was to inform people about Water Safety Day, the importance of learning water safety and other aquatic skills.
We wanted to our followers to share their experiences in aquatics by telling us two ways that they stay safe in and around the water in a video and tell everyone that they are #WaterSafety!
There were many people who entered the #IAmWaterSafety GiveAway Contest and all of the videos were great and I would like to thank everyone who participated. However, there was one special young lady who did an AMAZING JOB with her video! We chose Ms. Jazmin-Rose (@thejazminrose) as the winner of the giveaway! She loves to swim and is blessed to have a support system helping her to achieve her goals in swimming! She is learning the importance of being safe in and around the water! I know that Jazmin-Rose will accomplish so much as swimmer and that she will be as safe as she can be while doing it.
I want to thank all of the organizations/companies that contributed to the #IAmWaterSafety Swag Bag (Howard University Swim and Dive Team, SheraNichole Shop, Black Kids Swim, Diversity in Aquatics, SwimLife Fitness, and Afro Swimmers).
As we enter in to the summer swim season, please remember to be mindful, aware, safe out there, especially when you are in and around the water!
Stay tuned for the next Black Girl Swim Challenge and GiveAway!!!
No Person Is An Island Unto Themselves
It is an amazing and eye opening experience when you have the chance to work with people who have similar goals! This year, I invited my friends, Adrienne Wesley, owner of Swim Life Fitness, LLC & Swim Coach (@coachadriennelakate) and Noelle Singleton (@afroswimmwers), Creator of Afro Swimmers, Aquatic Director, Water Safety Instructor, and Coach to speak and attend the 2019 Diversity In Aquatics (DIA) Convention. I believe that it was a great opportunity to increase our efforts in exposing people to the benefits of safe participation and engagement in aquatic activities. After the convention, we continued the conversation of the importance of learning water safety skills, especially among African Americans. We thought that it would be a great idea to attend the 17th National Black Heritage Championship Swim Meet (NBHCSM) in Cary, NC. We were all excited to attend for the first time and to meet more swimmers and aquatic professional who looked like us! Because in real life.... the "Black Swim World" is small, so whenever I have the chance to meet more black swimmers, I am there! The NBHCSM was such a great experience, with over 1100 swimmers from 19 states, it was the largest swim meet in its history!
The NC Aquablazers were the host of the NBHCSM and were so open and hospitable! We were told about the rich history of the meet, introduced to so many people, and made connection that have the potential to grow and grow! There was good competition, good food (that fish fry though!!) , and good music (the DJ played Nipsey Hussle ya'll!!). This swim meet felt like a Homecoming! We also had the opportunity to meet Ms. Jazmin-Rose (@thejazminrose) and her family at the meet and present her with her #IAmWaterSafety Swag Bag!! She even received some tips on how to dive from Coach Adrienne!
This was also a great opportunity for all of us (especially the young swimmers) to meet many former college swimmers and coaches. 3-time Bahamian Olympian, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace was also in attendance at the meet is such a great experience meeting her! There were many black-owned companies, such as Black Kids Swim and CulturedGEAR that specialize in products that swimmers can benefit from!
Overall, attending this swim meet was an amazing experience and plan to attend next year!! Seeing all those young black swimmers was priceless and beyond inspirational. I look forward to more positive connections in the future!!
Remember to stay safe and aware in the water and most of all... Have Fun!!!
Dr. Asherah Allen