According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate for unintentional drowning is five times higher for individuals of color. To encourage and inspire the local community to learn and enjoy swimming, the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, INC. partnered with USA Swimming to provide instruction and to become comfortable in the water, in hopes to prevent accidents from occurring.
The sorority first partnered with USA Swimming in 2012. However, this is the first year that the Kappa Omega chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, INC., has hosted the Swim 1922 event with NC State.
Held March 24, 2018, the inaugural four-hour event had 15 participants, ranging in ages from nine to 40. Lead by Assistant Director of Aquatics, Daniel Kifle, participants of all skill levels participated in water comfortability exercises and stroke techniques.
“Swim 1922 was an excellent opportunity to develop swim and water safety skills for women of color. I was passionate about teaching this group because it reminded me of my experience of learning how to swim as an adult,” said Kifle.
One of the event organizers, Renesha Bowman ‘18, feels the event brought awareness of how aquatic activity could be used as a form of recreation and physical activity.
“It made everyone aware of an option that they did not know about prior and even just walking into the facility, exposed some people to wellness options that they weren’t aware previously,” said Bowman.
“Swimming is a great alternative for cardio workouts and I was glad we were able to introduce some skills that would hopefully encourage this group to come back and use the pool,” said Kifle.
For the future, Bowman hopes the event will continue to impact more in the community.