COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –
USA Swimming and the USA Swimming Foundation are proud to announce a new grant program to increase competitive opportunities within USA Swimming clubs. An inaugural class of 12 recipients will each receive $5,000.00 Community Impact grants, renewable annually for up to three years.
Furthering its commitment to making a difference in the community, the USA Swimming Foundation is proud to support the grants for clubs to engage in providing programming to underserved communities, support diverse coaches, as well as create more competitive opportunities. USA Swimming and the USA Swimming Foundation hope to not only grow the pipeline of potential athletes but create more learn to swim and competitive opportunities to better include populations that might not otherwise have regular access to the sport.
“The primary goal of this program is to create competitive opportunities in the same way that we have through our learn to swim grants,” USA Swimming Managing Director of Sport Development Joel Shinofield said. “Each year the USA Swimming Foundation provides approximately $600,000 in grants to programs that provide free or reduced-cost swim lessons. Our plan is to annually grow the number of grantees each year through to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028, starting with 12 teams in this year’s pilot program. The goal is to eventually support these opportunities at the same financial level as our learn to swim grants.”
Following on the heels of the long-standing Community Swim Team Partnership Program, the Community Impact grants, focus on three areas of support:
1. Creating partnerships between a USA Swimming team and a facility or recreational organization that doesn’t currently have a team. 2. Building partnerships between existing clubs and a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 3. Supporting programs led by women or ethnically diverse individuals (SWaM).
The latter SWaM (Supporting Women and Multiculturally-Led) program grants will go to current programs or those starting with a woman or coach of diverse background in leadership or ownership position. Currently women and diverse individuals only make up a small percentage of full-time coaches in leadership. By growing the pool of diverse individuals in team leadership, we broaden our talent pool of coaches who can develop new and innovative programs in communities across the country.
The following programs will each receive $5,000 from the USA Swimming Foundation to continue their work:
- Coppin State Aquatic Club (Baltimore, Md.)
- DART Sacramento (Sacramento, CA)
- DeKalb Aquatics (Snellville, Ga.)
- Elite Rays Swim Club (Washington, D.C.)
- Healthy Lifestyles Healthy Kids (Decatur, Ga.)
- Metro Atlanta Aquatic Club (Atlanta, Ga.)
- M3 Aquatics (Chicago, Ill.)
- Coastal Virginia Aquatic Club (Virginia Beach, VA)
- PDR Swimming for Success (Philadelphia, Pa.)
- Race Swami (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- San Benito Aquatics (San Benito/Hollister, Calif.)
- TS Aquatics (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Coastal Virginia Aquatic Club (CVAC) will partner with Norfolk State University, an HBCU in Norfolk, Virginia, to help further develop programing at the university that will be geared toward students and the local community.
USA Swimming’s Senior Advisor for Community Outreach and Engagement Dr. Shaun Anderson notes: “CVAC will provide access to training and help create additional programming. Working with HBCUs may help create additional opportunities to develop coaches or have students complete their education practicum with a swim team.” Plans are underway to add another HBCU program later in 2021.
Due to challenges with accessing pools during the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus on creating partnerships between clubs and facilities will be introduced in later funding cycles.
USA Swimming will publish application materials and deadlines for our second round of grants later in 2021.
For more information on USA Swimming’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts, please visit www.usaswimming.org/diversity
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