22-year-old Alice Dearing is Team Great Britain’s only black swimmer. In 2016, Dearing became the World Junior Open Water Champion and she followed that up with a 10k appearance at the 2017 World Championships.
Most recently in Gwangju, Dearing finished in 17th place, just 15 seconds shy of the top 10 needed for Olympic qualification, in the 10k open water race at this year’s World Championships.
During their conversation, Dearing makes it clear that she is ‘very proud’ of her achievements and ‘doesn’t want people to view her as a victim’ just because she is the only black swimmer on the national team. Instead, the freestyle ace was to use her voice to encourage more people to swim.
Dearing says she feels that ‘change is coming’ in terms of both Great Britain and the world seeing more swimmers from diverse ethnicities and background entering the sport of swimming.
“I may be the only black GB swimmer now, but I reckon 5 years from now we’ll see more, and then more….like a domino effect,” Dearing explains to Accura.
The pair also talk though physical challenges Dearing and other black swimmers face, hitting on the area of hair management, a subject to which she spoke of recently with BBC.
“It sounds ludicrous but it can be really damaging to your self-image and confidence as chlorine wrecks hair. But it’s even harder for girls with thicker hair, which the majority of black girls have.”