32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Invitational to be held Jan. 18-20 at Nassau County Aquatic Center
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Approximately 900 Long Island youth are expected to compete in this weekend’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Classic held at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, Long Island, NY.
The three-day swim meet, managed by long-time coach Robert Trotman and the Nu-Finmen Swim Club, celebrates the accomplishments of Dr. King. The swim meet is one of the only swim meets in the country supported by the King family.
“Dr. King and many others like him paved the way for an event like this involving children of all colors and abilities coming together to compete in a friendly arena,” Coach Trotman said
Trotman has coached the Nu-Finmen club for more than 25 years. In that time, he has coached a number of swimmers to compete at the collegiate level, work as lifeguards, and coach or work in other swim-related careers. Competitors in this year’s meet will come from swim clubs in New York City, Staten Island, Hauppauge, White Plains, Queens and Baltimore City.
Throughout the country there are a number of USA Swimming-approved events that highlight cultural diversity. The Black History Month Meet, Hispanic Heritage Month Meet, and the Cinco de Mayo Meet are among some of the competitions that strive to encourage and promote diversity in the sport.
“Events like the MLK Swim Invitational further the goals of USA Swimming and the USA Swimming Foundation to grow the base of the sport and support water safety,” said Talia Mark, Multicultural Marketing Manager, USA Swimming. “African American and Hispanic kids are vastly underrepresented in competitive swimming. Events like this open doors to healthy and beneficial activity”
A 2008 study shows 60 to 70 percent of African Americans and Hispanics do not know how to swim. On average ten people drown every day; currently, the drowning rate in the African American community is three times the rate of their Caucasian counterparts.
The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative has a direct goal of teaching every child in the United States to swim. Make a Splash has more than 600 local partners that offer free or reduced cost swim lessons. To date, more than one million kids have taken swim lessons through Make a Splash local partners and there have been more than 1.7 million enrollments into swim lessons with Make a Splash local partners. Tickets can be purchased at the Aquatic Center and range from $6-12 per person. Friday’s events begin at 6 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday’s events starting at 8:30 a.m.
For more information on the 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Invitational visit www.usaswimming.org/diversity.