We’re Donating £100k to Black Swimming Initiatives — Here’s What You Need to Know We’re Donating £100k to Black Swimming Initiatives — Here’s What You Need to Know

We’re Donating £100k to Black Swimming Initiatives — Here’s What You Need to Know

We’ve talked a lot about the struggles of Black swimmers. In fact, it’s always been the driving force behind everything we do.

It’s the reason we designed the SOUL CAP, and it’s the reason we’ve been involved with so many campaigns and partnerships over the years.

We’ve always tried to put our money where our mouth is. And with our latest initiative, that’s exactly what we’re doing:

Through the Swim Proud Fund, we’re donating £100,000 over the next 5 years to Black swim projects and programmes.

And if you’re someone who works to promote swimming in the Black community, you can apply for a share of that fund — to help you reach more people and create more opportunities for Black swimmers everywhere.

Here’s what you need to know about Swim Proud:

Why isn’t the Black community swimming more?

Statistics from Sport England show that 95% of Black adults and 80% of Black children don’t swim.

That’s an overwhelming majority — and it deserves an explanation.

So we decided to find out for ourselves:

We recently teamed up with Studio Exception, an inclusive innovation consultancy, to discover what’s keeping the Black community from swimming.

After conducting interviews with Black swimmers and non-swimmers across the UK, we identified six significant barriers that are limiting the Black community from seeing success in the water:

  • Inherited fear and disadvantage
  • Pride and shame
  • Myths and prejudice
  • Racism and representation
  • Access
  • And hair.

Each one of these barriers plays a significant part in keeping the Black community out of the water and away from swimming.

But every single one of them can be overcome.

And that’s exactly why we created the Swim Proud Fund.

How will the fund help Black swimmers?

Over the next 5 years, we’ll be donating £100k to organisations and individuals who are working to improve accessibility and participation in swimming for the Black community.

That could mean giving financial support to swimming programmes, grassroots organisations, or water-safety initiatives.

It could mean helping to train aspiring swim teachers and coaches — or helping to buy equipment for community-based swim clubs and groups.

We’re open to all kinds of initiatives and programmes, no matter how large or small. And we’re just as excited to help individuals to make a difference as we are to support established organisations.

But there’s one thing you can be sure of:

We’ll be making sure that 100% of the funds go towards Black-focused swim projects and communities.

Why is Black swimming so important?

Swimming is more than just a hobby or a sport. It’s not just for leisure or competition — and it’s not just a healthy way to keep fit and grow strong.

It’s an essential survival skill that saves lives.

Data from the CDC shows that fatalities from drowning are almost 40% higher in the Black community when compared to the general population.

It’s a sobering statistic — and it lines up with the idea that huge numbers of Black people aren’t getting the swim education and exposure they need from an early age.

But with more funding to grassroots initiatives and community-led projects, we can help to give the right training and experience to aspiring Black swimmers everywhere — and do what we can to reduce their risk in the water.


Who can apply for the Swim Proud fund?

We’re looking for individuals or organisations who are working to promote Black swim projects in the UK.

That could mean any project that:

  • Promotes swim education
  • Creates access to pools and swimming facilities
  • Provides training to aspiring swim teachers and coaches
  • Sponsors swimming clubs
  • Teaches water safety and swim-related skills
  • Or gives swim products and equipment to swimmers.


We’re open to ideas!

We created the Swim Proud Fund to support any UK project that helps to improve safety, inclusivity, and participation in swimming for the Black community — in whatever shape or form that might take.

So if you’re someone who’s working to promote Black swimming (or you’ve got an idea that needs a kick start), drop us an application through our online form — and we’ll give your project the attention it deserves.

More articles in Community