The Black Swimming Association (BSA) is the first organisation working to promote the education of communities of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage on water safety, drowning prevention and the benefits of aquatics through water familiarisation and orientation programmes; highlighting the value of swimming as an essential life-saving skill for all communities.
Swimming is the only sport that can save lives. It’s a gateway to safe participation in aquatic sports and activities, and a potential career area. However, official participation results show that amongst African, Caribbean and Asian communities: 95% of Black Adults; 80% of Black Children; 93% of Asian Adults; and 78% Asian Children do not swim in England and Wales. The BSA aims to define the picture in Wales and work to ensure they can do targeted interventions to prevent these communities being at high risk of drowning or near drowning incidents.
BSA co-founder, Seren Jones remembers being petrified of water as a child but her parents were determined their children would have lessons, and she went on to compete at elite level with City of Cardiff Swimming Club and win a swimming scholarship to an American university.
Working closely with strategic aquatic, water safety and education partners across England, the BSA has now created a partnership with Sport Wales to, in partnership with Swim Wales, make swimming and other aquatic sports more ethnically diverse, the first time a project has focused on this issue in the nation. The partnership includes a community engagement post, sharing and development of ground breaking research, and the implementation of sustainable community led programmes.
By the community, with the community, for the community.
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