Courtesy: Nike Swim
Nike Swim believes swimming is for everyone and that the swimming world would benefit from more diversity. This month, we have invited black swimmers from around the country to share their stories and experience of swimming black. We want to shine a light on the the issues black swimmers still face in the sport, celebrate accomplishments and our shared love of the sport.
Jordan Hunter is an avid swimmer, actor and founder of Say it Loud Media.
The greatest gift we are given in life is time.
Well, with my time, it is my aim to create opportunities for black swimmers to compete competitively and to aid in paving the way for aquatic career paths. As an advocate for black swimmers, I pride myself in combating a dark history and its negative impact surrounding black people in pools.
Swimming has afforded me a myriad of distinctions. I served in the United States Navy as a search and rescue swimmer, competed in and organized community triathlons for seasoned and entry level athletes, giving them the exposure to a sport that many never desired or knew they would ever participate. But my greatest achievement is the ability to teach. There is no greater fulfillment than witnessing someone who looks like me, trust me to break a generational curse by teaching them to swim.
Contrary to the belief, it is not the inability for black children to learn to swim, but the lack of access and resources to pools in communities that are largely occupied by them. I remember as a kid my parents would drive me 30-45mins to swim practice, sit in the car and sleep. Get me home to change, and get me to the bus just to make it to school then head off to work themselves. You see for my parents, this was not about themselves, they believed and knew that exposure was a part of the growth for me and saw far beyond what I could ever envisioned as a kid where Aquatics would have taken me. And now here I am writing a piece for NikeSwim to be featured during Black History Month. THAT is powerful!
THAT’S why it is so important to me to be a role model, so well after my time, a legacy of new swimmers will be born. And not just swimmers for the sport, but an open mindset to activities, memories, and experiences that many generations never wanted to or knew they could before. I once heard, “We are what they grow beyond.”
Access is how history can be rewritten.
That is time well spent.
“Not everything that is faced can be change; but nothing can be changed until it is faced”
Founder, Say it Loud Media
Courtesy of Nike Swim, a SwimSwam partner.