Swimming is so good for you in so many ways.
To list a few, it's been proven to combat mental illnesses like anxiety and depression; it keeps the heart and lungs healthy; it’s a fun and social activity; but most importantly it’s an essential life-saving skill.
The tragedy is, not all of us are privileged enough to reap the benefits of swimming and experience what the aquatic sector has to offer.
When we take the time to think about what a utopian world would look like, many of us imagine a world without inequality. Regardless of our background, religion, heritage, gender, sexuality or race we would all have equal access to the opportunitiessociety has to offer. But the reality is this world doesn’t exist. Instead, we’re living in 2021, a year where the inequality gap across the country is not only extremely apparent, but it’s felt - particularly by people from lower socio-economic areas including people of colour.
And although society may offer some fantastic opportunities to the British public, the problem lies in the access, be it financial, cultural or social. Not only is this the case for mainstream opportunities involving sectors like education, healthcare and housing, but the effects of outdated and exclusive systems and institutions, as well as societal attitudes and behaviours, contribute to inequality seeping into the smaller minority sectors - sectors like aquatics; and that’s where we come in.
At the Black Swimming Association we’re working towards a future with ethnic diversity in aquatics. We’re working to ensure that the aquatic sector is more accessible to African, Caribbean and Asian communities, whilst also working with these communities to ensure that water safety education becomes part of their general knowledge. Serving as a bridge between these communities and the sector, we aim to engage groups of people who have felt unwelcome and excluded by a sector that has only recently started prioritising inclusion.
It’s been a year and a half since the BSA came to life and invited itself to take a seat at the table of Britain’s aquatic sector. We are proud, unapologetic, and disruptive. We may not be living in a utopian world, but we’re working to make the world of aquatics a fairer and more equal place. Black and Asian water safety starts here.
To learn more about the Black Swimming Association head over to their website.