IRVINE, California, August 11. AS the Phillips 66 Nationals comes to a close, it’s easy to remember the races and the sports history being made. Katie Ledecky’s World Record swim had everyone on their feet, including a small group of guests in the VIP section who had been experiencing a swim meet for the first time. As fans descended on Irvine, Calif. To celebrate and watch the sport’s elite gathered to race, special things were happening to bring the sport of swimming to an even greater audience than before.
On Saturday, August 9th, the women of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, a traditionally black sorority, were treated with an exclusive clinic and extra special perks provided by AT&T in support of the Phillips 66 National Championship. Assembled as part of the Swim 1922 partnership between USA Swimming and Sigma Gamma Rho, the women participated in a swim clinic at the Northwood High School pool and were also given VIP tickets to finals on Saturday and Sunday of the Phillips 66 Nationals.
“We had an opportunity to have a few of the women at a previous AT&T sponsored clinic at Winter Nationals last year where some were afraid beyond belief,” said Rhonda Marable, Multicultural Public Relations Manager of USA Swimming and the manager of the Swim 1922 partnership. “Those same women were there on Saturday and had grown by leaps and bounds since then. It really shows you what this is all about and how sports and swimming specifically can impact others.”
The Swim 1922 partnership was developed as a way to increase opportunities for black women to participate and learn about the sport of swimming. With 70% of black children not knowing how to swim and the statistic likely not better for adults, the partnership was created in part to combat those statistics and effect positive change in the black community.
A group of thirty women assembled at the Northwood Pool at 11 A.M. on Saturday morning, pumped to participate in the clinic administered by Marable and Swim 1922 Spokeswoman and first black woman to make the USA Swimming National Team and win an Olympic medal, Maritza Correia. The group was split into women who were beginners and those who were more advanced.
As the title sponsor of this event, AT&T generously provided the women with a collection of swim gear as well as the tickets to Saturday and Sunday finals at the Woollett Aquatics Center. USA Swimming suit sponsor, TYR also provided the bathing suits for the women.
“It’s really something special to see women who are afraid of the water come together at a clinic like this and face their fears. Afterwards you see women who feel empowered and energized to make a change for themselves and their families when it comes to water safety and swimming, “ said USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer Matt Farrell. “The members of Sigma Gamma Rho are passionate, engaged women and I know we’ll be able to further this impact for years to come.”
Special guests of the clinic included Andrea Jones, Associate Director of Corporate Sponsorships at AT&T, USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse, and Ben and Ashley Hobbins, coach and Athlete Ambassador of USA Deaf Swimming.
To find out more information about the Swim 1922 partnership, visit: www.usaswimmin.org/swim1922
To learn more about AT&T visit: www.att.com
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