Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and USA Swimming will be extending their partnership for multiple years. Through this partnership both organizations will continue their initiatives for community outreach, awareness, and swimming participation, particularly in black communities.
Their shared program is called Swim 1922. Through this program the goals are to prevent drowning and increase swimming participation. Swim 1922 is a big part of USA Swimming’s diversity and inclusion initiative.
The efforts are to increase awareness about water safety, advance the need for swim lessons, and participation in swimming at a grassroots, community-based level. Sigma Gamma Rho promotes participation through in-water safety events, workshops, and fitness swimming.
According to Sigma Gamma Rho’s president, Bonita M. Herring, “Swimming has the ability to positively impact our communities on many levels – decreasing drowning rates, increasing health and wellness, and providing employment and scholarship opportunities. We are proud to continue our partnership with USA Swimming. Our members look forward to expanding the Swim 1922 campaign and sharing the benefits of water activities.”
This partnership has enabled Sigma Gamma Rho to embrace swimming and work to diversify the sport. Executive Director of USA Swimming, Chuck Wielgus said, “Sigma Gamma Rho has embraced the objectives to make this one of the most impactful partnerships we’ve done at USA Swimming. Members have also spoken with actions by working tirelessly to introduce swimming, and its critical life-saving importance, into their communities.”
Olympic silver medalist Maritza Correia McClendon, who became the first black female swimmer to make the U.S. Olympic team in 2004 and then went on to earn a silver medal, is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho and the ambassador of Swim 1922. Another proud member of both Sigma Gamma Rho who has been making history in swimming is Jamaican Olympian and world record-holder Alia Atkinson, who became the first black woman to earn a world swimming title just last year.
For 2015 Swim 1922 has planned college and university campus water safety events surrounding spring break, Sigma Gamma Rho regional conference workshops with local elementary and middle school assembly visits on water safety and learn to swim, & summertime community water safety events in inner-city locations such as Detroit and Nashville.
This is just one of the amazing things the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority is doing for the community. A few weeks ago we went out to The Golden Alert, which was a town hall meeting addressing police violence and other issues in the black community. This was just one of many that will be taking place nationwide. For more information on USA Swimming, Sigma Gamma Rho, and their partnership go to usaswimming.org & sgrho1922.org