Recent research by Sport England has shown that in the UK, 95% of black adults, and 80% of black children either cannot or don’t swim, and are significantly underrepresented in the aquatic world. Similarly, 93% and 79% of Asian adults and children respectively also do not swim. This worryingly extends to the UK aquatic workforce, in which Danielle Obe, chair of the Black Swimming Association, highlighted that only 3% of swimming lifeguards and coaches are of African, Caribbean or Asian heritage. She also states that there is no representation at board or senior leadership level of Black or Asian adults in this community.
She has called for a drive towards tackling this inequality, promoting inclusion and diversity. Community engagement, research and collaboration to build trust with some of the disengaged sectors of the community are hoped for, and there is recognition that this is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but rather an ongoing and long-term commitment.