Getting black children into the swim

Interesting article in the Seattle PI.com about the high number of black children who can’t swim. According to the article 58 percent of black children can’t swim.

New study: 58 percent of black children can’t swim

By David Crary
AP National Writer

NEW YORK — Nearly 60 percent of African-American children can’t swim, almost twice the figure for white children, according to a first-of-its-kind survey which USA Swimming hopes will strengthen its efforts to lower minority drowning rates and draw more blacks into the sport.

Stark statistics underlie the initiative by the national governing body for swimming. Black children drown at a rate almost three times the overall rate. And less than 2 percent of USA Swimming’s nearly 252,000 members who swim competitively year-round are black.

To alter the numbers, USA Swimming is teaming with an array of partners – local governments, corporations, youth and ethnic organizations- to expand learn-to-swim programs nationwide, many of them targeted at inner-city minorities. One of the key participants is black freestyle star Cullen Jones, who hopes to boost his role-model status by winning a medal this summer at the Beijing Olympics.

After we moved from Atlanta to Maryland my mom learned how to swim. She then taught me when I was about nine years old. I haven’t been swimming in a long time but I think it’s a good idea for all children to learn how to swim. It’s best to teach them while they’re very young.

2 responses

  1. Ade, I’m glad you decided to rethink your stance on your wife and daughter learning to swim. It’s especially a good idea for your daughter to learn at a young age. If you have college plans for her in the future she might end up going to a school that requires students to take swimming classes.

  2. My wife and I with our 18 month old daughter lives in Fort worth TX. Originally we are from Nigeria. Just 2 weeks ago my wife decided to start swimming class and also enrolled our daughter. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea, as a matter of fact I thought it was a wast of money. Bear in minde, I can’t swim and do think I don’t like swimming. Infact whatever is bigger than a bath tub, i don’t play arround!

    Meanwhile, haven read your blog on the topic, “Getting black children into the swim,” and seen the statistics, I’ve started do a rethink on my stance.

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