Swimming Caps

Another part of the story falls into place when we consider the lack of Black swimmers. The gear. The proper gear to fit and compliment our bodies, our heads and our hair.

I remember swimming in The Great North Swim in Lake Windermere a few years ago now. Each different wave of swimmers, had a different time slot and a different coloured swimming cap.

This generic sized swim cap came no where near covering my dreadlocked hair. But the official rules were I had to wear the designed swim cap for my wave for safety reasons.

There were no alternatives. There were no offers of different shapes or sizes. I had to pull all my hair onto the top of my head and put the swim cap on the top knot with a hair band. It made it very difficult to swim in and didn’t really keep my hair dry. At times I felt I was being dragged down by the weight of water in my hair.

I decided to laugh about this episode as I was the only one having this difficulty. It was me at fault for wanting to wear my hair naturally as well as wanting to swim.

Now I read in The Guardian again, the official ruling against Black swimmers wearing swim caps that actually fit their heads and hair in the Tokyo Olympics this month.

The official swimming caps were designed, by Speedo 50, was created to prevent white people’s hair from flowing into the face when swimming. They don’t work for Black people. They don’t fit our heads or our hair.

So Soul Cap designs a cap to suit Black swimmer and have been working with Alice Dearing who recently qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. But the International Swimming Federation ( Fina) have come back and said, ‘ the caps did not fit “the natural form of the head” and to their “best knowledge the athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require … caps of such size and configuration.’

Read the full article here.

This ruling has echos of the scientific studies of old that used the head shape and size of a white person as the norm, the standard and every thing else a deviation from such. The normal sized head is the white person’s head. This is the natural shape and size anything is a deviation and unnatural. Do they now see how there ruling and reply is racist?

This is just another indication for me of how white supremacy culture rules. Is set up for the advancement and advantage of white people.

To make the ruling that there is no need for a Black swimming cap, created to level the biased playing field, is just another indication of racism inherent in the system, upheld by the people who create and deal out the rulings and policies.