The importance of a support system!
Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed being in and around the water. It's like I am drawn to it. Whether it is sitting on the beach listening to the ocean waves, diving in to the deep end of the pool in the summer time, or letting the water from the kitchen faucet run over my hand, my connection to the water has always been there. Through all of these experiences, one thing I had and continue to have is a village of supports that encourage and lift me up. When I wanted to learn how to swim at the age of four or five, I remember my parents encouraging me. When I joined my first swim team, my coaches and teammates challenged me. When I wanted to become a lifeguard, I had role models (family and friends) that I could look up to and told me that it was the best job I could have as a teenager! When I became an instructor, there were people who taught me the art of teaching and listening. And now that I continue on as an educator and researcher, I have a support system that I can work with to address the pressing concerns of disparities and disadvantages with in our society when it comes to water safety education and aquatic participation. More specifically, addressing those disparities and disadvantages that occur within the Black Community.
In 2013, I started a blog called, Black Girl Swim. I wanted to create a space where I could tell my story as a Black American Woman who loves everything about swimming and would jump at the chance to participate in almost any aquatic activity. With the Black Girl Swim blog, I continue to highlight my experiences in and around the water, as well as, other black women and girl experiences. However, I felt that there were stories and opportunities that were not being highlighted enough in the Black Community as a whole.. including both our black men, women, girls, and boys. So, that is what My Swim Village is here for!
It is my goal that My Swim Village, LLC be a place of intention and purpose, support, and education of all things aquatics and water safety! Just as the age old saying goes, "It takes a Village to raise a child", I believe that it takes a Village to be motivated to learn, value, and actively participate in aquatic activities like swimming, kayaking, and diving. I believe that learning to swim is a life that everyone needs to master and My Swim Village is here to:
I invite you to join the My Swim Village Community and become a part of a community that Motivates, Teaches, and Inspires others to know that we are more than our fears, our hesitations, and negative stereotypes. Let's be that Village that uplifts!
Also, join in on the conversation! Who is a part of your swim village? What type of support do you need when it comes to participation in aquatic activities? Are there opportunities for swim and participate in aquatics in your communities? Leave a comment below!
Dr. Asherah Allen
Dr. Asherah Allen
Owner of My Swim Village, LLC, Creator of Black Girl Swim Blog, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, Water Safety and Aquatic Educator, Mother, Wife, and Creative