Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oldest Black Private Swim Club Celebrates Anniversary

In between staying cool, organizing masses of paperwork, and working on my lil' version of an AKA Centennial media mash-up for posting on the blog, I came across this neat story.

The Nile Swim Club was founded in Yeadon, PA (outside of Philadelphia) fifty years ago and is celebrating their anniversary. The club apparently has lots of plans in the works including a multi-million expansion project. It is the nation's oldest Black private swim club. It is awesome to images of The Supremes and Harry Belafonte who performed for at the club in its early years.

Philadelphia is also home to famous swim coach Jim Ellis who was the inspiration for the movie Pride starring Terrance Howard and Bernie Mac.

Recent media stories have focused on 24 year old Cullen Jones, a young Black man on the 2008 US Olympic Swim Team. In a strange contrast however, Black children account for the majority of drowning deaths of children in the US. Lack of access to safe, clean pools in urban centers is one of the culprits behind this horrific trend.

So my hat is off to The Nile Swim Club and Jim Ellis for providing opportunities for those who were otherwise shut out of swimming.

I'm headed out to see Special Friend play baseball.

Enjoy today!