GRL SWM Is Empowering More WOC to Swim

GRL SWM Is Empowering More WOC to Swim

Swimming is widely known as a White and elitist sport. In fact, according to Sport England, 95% of Black adults and 93% of Asian adults do not swim. The risk of drowning, too, is higher among communities of color. 

To bridge the gap between communities of color and swimming, Shay Sade founded GRL SWM, a London-based swimming and social club for women. 

GRL SWM is different from swimming lessons because it caters to its community. “We aim to foster a safe space, so everyone, from our instructors to our lifeguards, is all women,” says Sade. Before even getting into the water, GRL SWM members meet their coaches to build a connection with them. 

“End of the day, I want students to feel like they speak the same language as their teacher. I want them to be able to share their worries and to be understood and helped in the most authentic way possible,” Isimeme shares. GRL SWM tries to bring mostly WOC swimming instructors to represent all the women in their community and build trust. You can even catch GRL SWM members jamming to lively music during sessions and connecting outside the pool. 

As the group grows, Sade hopes to tap into new locations and expand their inclusivity. She tells GUAP, “We are now working on creating classes tailored to women from particular backgrounds and walks of life, like modest swims, LGBTQIA swims, and more.”

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