When the Commonwealth Games commence. Alice Dearing, one of 4 co-founders of the BSA and the first-ever Black female Swimmer representing Team GB in the Tokyo Olympics, and the BSA proudly celebrate the tangible action the BSA has taken, working with underrepresented communities in Aquatics and Ed Accura’s defining documentaries.The Black Swimming Association (BSA) was founded by Ed Accura, with Seren Jones, Danielle Obe and Alice Dearing. The BSA was set up two years ago to champion inclusivity, representation, and diversity in aquatics; highlighting the value of swimming as an essential life-saving skill and showcasing aquatic opportunities and aquatic career pathways which are otherwise invisible to African, Caribbean and Asian communities.
The BSA says “Swimming is for everyone, and swimming is the only sport that is also a vital life skill. The BSA was established to highlight the value of swimming as a vital life skill to prevent drownings by tackling previously unaddressed inequities and under-representation within the aquatics sector and ultimately increasing visibility and participation in aquatic sports. Since then, we have amplified the voice of the African, Caribbean and Asian communities and taken tangible action, with our work having direct relevance to over 6.9m people of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage in the UK who are currently not aquatically active or water safety aware.”
Blacks Can’t Swim: REWIND, out on VOD globally from July 4th via www.blackscantswim.com, produced by BSA co-founder Accura, follows the success of his previous two films, Blacks Can’t Swim and Blacks Can’t Swim: The Sequel, and highlights the issue behind the fact that 95% of Black adults and 80% of Black children do not swim, similarly, 93% of Asian adults and 78% of Asian children do not swim (Sport England).
In this third film, we hear the harrowing recount of an 8-year-old child about their lived experience swimming in school “In class… we would get sectioned and then the Caucasians go on one side and they go to swim, and then the Black people go and do football or dodgeball, and they think because we are Black we can’t swim, but we can swim”. Barriers to swimming include racial bias and predisposed systemic discrimination even at primary school age; the BSA want to act as a bridge with communities and the aquatic sector in order to dismantle racial bias, inequitable access and lack of inclusion within swimming and aquatics. Inclusion for all not at the exclusion of some must be met by acknowledging and catering to the needs of the most marginalised groups.
Accura said the film documentary has already superseded its expectation and propelled it to another level: “The aim was to continue highlighting the issue of a disproportionate number of African, Caribbean and Asians that do not swim, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it has already given the youth involved the motivation, direction, and hope to seek a better life,”.