Hampton University hosted what appears to be the first conference focused specifically on improving diversity in aquatics.

Held April 11 on the campus in Hampton, Va., the intent of the conference was “to develop and evaluate best practices in training minority aquatic professionals and getting minorities in swim classes,” according to organizers.

The keynote speaker was Shaun Anderson. Anderson is USA Swimming consultant on minority swimming initiatives and faculty member and co-founder of Diversity in Aquatics, a non-profit organization that promotes minority youth swimming initiatives.

“It is the first of its kind to combine academic researchers with practitioners to come up with solutions for diversifying aquatics,” said Jodi Jensen, Hampton University assistant professor and director of aquatics. “Our goal is to create research based solutions.”

Looking ahead, she anticipates that the conference will become an annual event.