Speedo, the world’s leading swimwear brand, is partnering with the Black Swimming Association (BSA) in a joint mission to help address barriers faced by BAME communities in the UK around swimming and water safety.
Working with national swimming bodies, brands and charities, the BSA’s goal is to equip black communities with aquatic skills as well as educate on water safety, drowning prevention measures and the importance of learning to swim. With 95% of black adults and 80% of black children in England not engaging with swimming, according to figures from Sport England, the association is committed to investigating the barriers that restrict the black community from getting into the water and making changes.
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.
The partnership formalises the existing relationship between Speedo and the BSA which have previously collaborated 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 in swimming.
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.”
Rob Hicking, Brand Director at Speedo, says: “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.”