In an effort to develop new minority role models, USA Swimming is choosing teenage athletes from various ethnic groups for its upcoming Diversity Select Camp.
The three-day camp aims to create opportunities for outstanding athletes from different backgrounds. Thirty boys and girls will be selected, and USA Swimming will pay all expenses. The camp will be held April 27-30 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
?This program is the beginning of a long-term and concerted effort to address obstacles that historically have made it difficult for children from diverse backgrounds to get involved and stay with the sport of swimming,? said Pat Hogan, USA Swimming?s club development director.
Athletes must be between 13 to 18 and represent a minority group that is less than 20 percent of the current USA Swimming membership. Those groups include Native American, African-American, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Pacific Islander, which each currently represent less than 2 percent of membership. They also must meet qualifying time standards.
The camp includes training, motivational and education sessions, and team building. The multicultural staff consists of a head coach, two assistant coaches, a manager, and a national team athlete. Each athlete?s personal coach will also have access to an educational track.