Swimming caps for Afro hair will now be allowed in elite competitions

1 Sep, 2022 | admin | No Comments

Swimming caps for Afro hair will now be allowed in elite competitions

Swimming caps for Afro hair will now be allowed in elite competitions
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  • After being banned from the Olympics in 2021.

    You may remember, two years ago, the wearing of swimming caps for African hair was banned at competitive swimming events such as the Olympics.

    FINA, swimming’s governing body, ruled against allowing the wearing of specialist hats by athletes, because “to the best of their knowledge, athletes competing in international events have never used, nor are required to use, Caps of such size and configuration.”

    He then continued to label Cap as “inappropriate”, saying he “did not follow .. the natural contours of the head.”

    Naturally, many took to social media at the time to express their outrage at the ruling, with many pointing out that it represented another obstacle for ethnic minorities joining the game. (More recently, data from Sport England showed that a quarter of black children drop out of primary school not being able to swim, and 95% of black adults and 80% of black children do not go swimming).

    Now, two years later, a new ruling has reversed the initial ruling, and caps designed specifically with Afro hair in mind will now be allowed at competitive sporting events, including the Olympics.

    FINA, as part of its diversity and inclusion campaign, will allow caps in all areas of the sport. FINA Executive Director Brent Nowicki says on the move: “This announcement follows a period of review and discussion on cap design between FINA and SOUL CAP over the past year.”

    “Promoting diversity and inclusivity is at the heart of FINA’s work. It is very important that all aquatic athletes have access to appropriate swimwear.”

    Tox Ahmed, co-founder of SOUL CAP, said Metro: ‘This result plays a big part in our overarching mission to improve inclusion in sport.

    “We are so grateful to everyone who showed support and were part of making this big change. As a new father and one who hasn’t learned to swim growing up, reaching out to the next generation feels even closer to home. “

    “We’ve seen what community and collective energy can achieve, so we hope to continue to overcome these obstacles more and more.”

    Historically, the lack of appropriate sports has been a major obstacle for black people to engage in swimming. Small swimming caps that are currently retailed usually don’t offer enough room for Afro hair, which often leads to damage or not enough protection from things like chlorine. In addition, research has shown that your risk of drowning may be higher if you are from a black or ethnic minority community.

    SOUL CAP co-founder Michael Chapman explains Metro: “There is still great progress to be made in terms of diversity in aquatic life. Some of these other barriers include the cost of people opting out of swimming, the lack of swimming education in schools, the closure of pools and cultural stereotypes such as “black people”. Do not swim”.

    Without a doubt a step in the right direction. There’s more diversity and inclusion within All Sports – not just swimming.

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