Latroya Pina and her siblings, Troy and Jayla, will compete as members of the Cape Verde National Swim Team in the 2020 Summer Olympics, reports HUBison.com. Pina swims in multiple categories including the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter breaststroke. Pina’s team is the first one from Cape Verde, a nation off of the northwest coast of Africa. Pina said. (According to Ashley Atwell a writer, podcaster [Blavity]) “We’re not just swimming for our colleges or schools, but for a nation, so we want to do our best.” They are the bright silver lining in the dark cloud that has become the situation for HBCU collegiate swimmers.Until recently North Carolina A&T women’s swim team was huge on social media as the rival of Howard University. sadly Howard University is now the only remaining HBCU with a men’s and women’s swim team—and with no HBCU rival. The Washington Post reported that “20 percent of the Division I black swimmers were represented by either North Carolina A&T or Howard.”According to a national study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis, 70 percent of Black children have low or no swimming ability compared to 40 percent of their white peers.
African-American kids ages 5 to 14 have a drowning fatality rate of three times that of white children. What is ironic is that African Americans who do swim in competition do great especially those from the Caribbean from places like Jamaica,Barbadoes,Trinidad,Puerto Rico etc… With that type of talent the potential for revenue is astronomical and by comparison the cost to a school is far less than a football,baseball or track team. In the big-money world of college sports, it is actually baseball that finishes last on the bottom line.Football and basketball programs, the major money makers in college sports, average a combined median profit of $3.5 million for the average NCAA school.The two main fixed expenses in most swim clubs are coaching salaries and pool rental (unless the school has it’s own pool. The reality is that swimming could pay for education at little cost to the schools if only black communities would embrace having their children learn. “Special programs such as the America Learn-to-Swim program can build the sport with both revenue and with swimmers.
Learn-To-Swim is the support for both the financial stability of the team and a breeding ground for future competitive swimmers. The United States is one of the few countries in the world where swim clubs are built almost solely from competitive swimmer fees.”When athletic departments decide to make cuts, swimming and diving programs are often some of the first to go. Even though by comparison to other sports they are not very expensive, and they don’t generate very much revenue compared to basketball and football the gains to communities and students offset the lower returns. Swim teams have the potential to be a vital asset to a school. For high school level and national-level meets, there is often an entrance fee between $10 to $20. Most parents are more than happy to pay to see their children succeed.
For a college to build a pool the cost is The swimming pool will typically cost between $40,000 and $60,000 less than one students tuition. A structure that is 25’x45′ (1125 sq ft) with the average cost per square foot at $100 would cost $112,500. Including a system installed to protect the structure from moisture damage. The biggest issue is school administrators lack of understanding about the value of a pool ,simply by renting out the facility to other teams or local grade schools revenue can be earned.Pools can unite communities and give an extra skill set to youth who can then work as lifeguards and swim teachers during the summer months. The only staffing a pool needs is a pool manager, and life guard and pool maintenance positions that can be filled by students or a communities youth.