Time for change: tackling Oxfordshire’s swimming inequality crisis together.

Time for change: tackling Oxfordshire’s swimming inequality crisis together.

Posted: Tue, 19 Oct 2021 16:30

Time for change: tackling Oxfordshire’s swimming inequality crisis together.

Time for change: tackling Oxfordshire's swimming inequality crisis together.

Active Oxfordshire is delighted to be working with Oxford Hub and Black Swimming Association to screen the film "Blacks Can't Swim: the Sequel" – a film produced by Ed Accura, Co-founder of the Black Swimming Association. The screening, held as part of Black History Month, will take place on Friday 29th October at 6pm, at Oxford & District Indoor Bowls Association, Sandy Lane West, OX4 6NA.

You can book your free ticket for the screening here: Blacks Can't Swim: the Sequel tickets

Why now? Swimming inequalities in Oxfordshire

In Oxfordshire, there are significant inequalities in swimming and water safety. We may be surrounded by waterways however only 65% of our county's children can swim 25 metres by age 11 with only 55% of children being able to perform self-rescue by age 11. Even more worryingly, in our most disadvantaged areas, only 25% of children can swim.

Research also shows that 95% of black adults, and 80% of black children do not swim, and that the risk of drowning is greater for ethnically diverse communities.

Blacks Can't Swim: The Sequel

This film screening follows the journey of two black youths from a South London council estate who are part of a community and sports programme. To complete the programme, which will open up a whole world of new opportunity, they need to learn to swim. This film will start a much-needed conversation about why so few black people swim and how the generational cycle can be broken.

You can view the film trailer here: Blacks Can't Swim: the Sequel film trailer

Natasha Summer, who works for Oxford Hub, is leading on this event and is also an Active Ambassador, says:

"Within the Black community, a lot of parents or guardians do not teach their children how to swim because they never swam themselves. Cost also plays a major role. It saddens me that throughout Oxfordshire, we have a very low representation of children and adults from diverse ethnic communities in sports such as swimming. I would very much like to see more young people not being the only person in the swimming pool. So come the next few Olympics World Championships we will have a greater presence of Black Ethnic Minority young people representing England and Great Britain.

This starts by engaging with local swimming pools, schools, community groups and children centres. We can all play a part. Most of all, you're never too old to learn: it could save a life one day."

Josh Lenthall, who leads our work with children and young people at Active Oxfordshire, says:

"We are facing a swimming inequality crisis in Oxfordshire, which has been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that every child in our county can learn to swim and be safe near water, and if we're going to achieve this ambition, we must tackle the inequalities that make it harder for our ethnically diverse communities to swim.

We're excited about working with Oxford Hub to screen Blacks Can't Swim: the Sequel for the first time, to open up valuable discussion about the barriers that people from ethnically diverse communities are facing and how we can work together to overcome these barriers. We will only tackle these complex, systemic issues if we work together, and if you'd like to join us in taking action to break down these barriers, we'd be delighted to welcome you to the screening on 29th October."

About the event

Date: Friday 29th October

Time: Doors open at 6.00pm. The film will be screened at 6.30pm and followed by a discussion about the barriers to participation that our communities face

Cost: Tickets are free, although there will be opportunity to make a donation to Ready Set Go (https://www.oxfordhub.org/ready-set-go) should you wish to

Refreshments: There will be a bar selling drinks and we aim to have cinema snacks to create that movie night feel.

You can find out more about Active Oxfordshire's work to increase swimming rates and improve water safety here.

Tags: Active 60, Active Body, Active Children, Active Lives