USA Swimming News

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

USA Swimming Launches Million-Dollar Grant Opportunity to Grow Aquatics Programs at HBCUs

USA Swimming Launches Million-Dollar Grant Opportunity to Grow Aquatics Programs at HBCUs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, today announced a grant program focused on creating a new 10-year, $1 million initiative to develop learn-to-swim and competitive opportunities in communities served by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

Whether the HBCU institutions are looking to offer, or are already offering swim lessons, developing club teams or have existing programming, the grant program offers an opportunity to utilize campus-based aquatic facilities, faculty, students, staff, and partner with existing USA Swimming teams to develop/enhance and deliver local aquatics-based programing in their respective communities. Under this initiative, USA Swimming has committed to provide up to $100,000 annually to support swimming programming at HBCUs over the next ten-years, for a total commitment of up to $1 million. 

“We at USA Swimming immensely value HBCUs' history, impacting lives and inciting positive change for Black communities,” said Joel Shinofield, Managing Director for Sport Development at USA Swimming. “They have a rich history in swimming. We hope to tap into that past aquatic success and current leadership development to revitalize aquatic programming in those very communities across the country.”

Furthering its commitment to making a difference in the community, USA Swimming and the USA Swimming Foundation announced a new Community Impact Grant program earlier this year with the hope to not only grow the pipeline of potential athletes in swimming, but to also create more learn-to-swim and competitive opportunities to better include populations that might not otherwise have regular access to the sport. 

USA Swimming, in conjunction with this year’s Cricket Celebration Bowl, will host an informational panel about this opportunity to build, develop and grow aquatics program at HBCUs. The event will take place on Friday, December 17 at 10:00 a.m. ET at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Panelists for this discussion will include Olympic silver medalist and the first Black woman to make the U.S. Olympic Team in swimming, Maritza McClendon, Shinofield, Program Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for USA Swimming Leland Brown III, Norfolk State University Assistant Professor Dr. Shaun Anderson and Executive Director of Diversity in Aquatics Dr. Miriam Lynch

While HBCU grant applications will open in February 2022, athletic directors, administrators and Celebration Bowl attendees are invited to ask questions and learn more about this grant program and how it can be utilized on their campuses. Those unable to attend in person can register and attend the live Zoom broadcast of the panel at

For more information about this and other USA Swimming grant programs, please contact Leland Brown

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