Water Works: Sigma Gamma Rho Wants Black Folks To Swim

Who said Black people don’t swim? Well USA Swimming is trying to change that perception.

USA Swimming is partnering with the historically Black Greek service organization to have a presence in their five regional conferences in March and April.

Each of the five regional conferences will include a Friday night public meeting that will incorporate a USA Swimming athlete or representative. Conference attendees will learn about the health and safety benefits of getting involved in the sport of swimming. Two of the regional conferences will also feature a Saturday water safety lesson from USA Swimming.

The kick-off will take place this weekend in Milwaukee, Wis. and will feature 2004 Olympic silver medalist Maritza McClendon and National Teamer Ashley Wanland. McClendon will also appear on April 5 in San Antonio, TX, and alongside 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jessica Hardy and the conference in Long Beach Calif. from April 19-21.

Maritza Correia

Olympic gold medalists Cullen Jones and Tyler McGill will appear on March 22 at the conference stop in Nashville, Tenn.

“We look forward to teaching Sigma Gamma Rho’s members more about USA Swimming,” said Matt Farrell, USA Swimming Chief Marketing Officer. “This overall partnership and USA Swimming’s presence at Sigma Gamma Rho’s national conferences offers us the opportunity to uniquely reach thousands of families across the nation and teach them about the benefits of swimming.”

USA Swimming’s partnership with Sigma Gamma Rho is part of the organization’s on-going recruiting effort aimed at arming parents with the information and resources they need to get their children involved in the sport for its health and safety benefits.

“Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is very proud about our partnership with USA Swimming,” said Bonita M. Herring, Sigma Gamma Rho’s National President. “When I heard the statistics, last summer, that seventy percent of African American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children don’t know how to swim I was shocked. We know that our work with USA Swimming will focus on this issue and provide awareness to the communities that we serve. We look forward to having these amazing athletes at our event.”

Here is detailed information on the five regional conferences:

March 15/Milwaukee, WI

Cullen Jones

Milwaukee Hilton
Ashley Wanland/ Maritza McClendon

March 22/ Nashville, TN
Franklin Marriott Cool Springs
Tyler McGill/ Cullen Jones

April 5/San Antonio. TX
Hilton San Antonio
Maritza McClendon

April 19/Long Beach, CA
Torrance Marriott South Bay
Jessica Hardy/Maritza McClendon

April 26/Boston. MA
Hyatt Regency Cambridge
Alex Meyer

For more information about Sigma Gamma Rho’s partnership with USA Swimming, visit

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