48 swimmers from 36 clubs and 21 states have been chosen as participants in the 2019 USA Swimming Diversity Select Camp. Swimmers chosen will participate in an all-expenses-paid trip to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado from May 2nd-5th.
The camp invites swimmers of “ethnically under-represented populations” to Colorado Springs for both competitive and leadership training. Athletes must have applied to the program, and must have achieved the National Diversity Select Camp qualifying times (which are equivalent to AAAA times for 13-14 year olds).
Among applications received, the swimmers with the fastest times in each of the 13 individual Olympic events (long course times only) were automatically selected. 3 more athletes of each sex were chosen based on IMX scores, 3 more of each sex will be selected based on ‘outstanding performance in one or more events,’ and 5 athletes of each sex will be chosen from USA Swimming’s ‘Outreach membership’ pool of athletes that receive reduced-fee USA Swimming memberships based on their family’s financial situation.
Personal coaches for all 48 athletes are invited to the camp as well, with free room and board and a $200 reimbursement to offset airfare expense. 8 coaches were invited as staff coaches for the program.
USA Swimming’s stated goals for their National Diversity Select Camp are to:
- Empower athletes from ethnically under-represented populations
- Demonstrate the viability of multicultural success in swimming
- Achieve performance excellence at every level of the sport
- Expound the benefits and value of participating in the sport of swimming
- Assist in recruiting more swimmers and coaches from diverse ethnicities to the sport of swimming
- Be positive leaders and role models that others from multicultural backgrounds can emulate
Among the most accomplished alumni of the program is Simone Manuel. The 22-year old is the defending World Champion and Olympic Champion in the 100 meter freestyle.