A British firm that designs swim caps made explicitly for Black hair says it was denied approval for its merchandise to be worn by athletes at subsequent month’s Olympic Video games in Tokyo.
Soul Cap was based in England in 2017 by two Black males who wished to create a swim cap that works with extra voluminous and pure hairstyles like Afros and dreadlocks. The swim caps produced by the corporate are roomier than a typical swim cap and are available sizes that may accommodate mid-back hairstyles.
The corporate has even partnered with Alice Dearing, the primary Black lady to signify Nice Britain in Olympic swimming.
Soul Cap says it utilized to FINA — the worldwide regulatory physique of water sports activities, together with swimming — to have its caps authorised to be used for the Tokyo Video games. Nonetheless, the corporate says FINA rejected the applying.
“We might despatched quite a lot of our sizes to FINA,” a Soul Cap spokesperson advised Quartz. “However we had been really rejected on registration, which meant we could not even enchantment their determination.”
Soul Cap isn’t at present listed on FINA’s “authorised swimwear” webpage.
Based on the Runners’ World, FINA rejected the applying as a result of the caps do not match “the pure type of the top,” and to their “greatest data the athletes competing on the worldwide occasions by no means used, neither require…caps of such dimension and configuration.”
Toks Ahmed-Salawudeen, one of many founders of Soul Cap, stated in an announcement on Twitter that FINA’s determination may set again range in swimming.
“For youthful swimmers, feeling included and seeing your self in a sport at a younger age is essential,” Ahmed-Salawudeen stated. “FINA’s latest dismissal may discourage many youthful athletes from pursuing the game as they progress by native, county and nationwide aggressive swimming.”
“We do not see this as a set again, however an opportunity to open up a dialogue to make an even bigger distinction in aquatics,” the corporate stated in sharing Ahmed-Salawudeen’s assertion.
The U.Okay.’s Black Swimming Affiliation, of which Dearing is a founder, additionally denounced FINA’s determination.
“Per week after celebrating Alice Dearing turning into the primary Black-Brit to qualify for the Olympics we’re extraordinarily dissatisfied to see the FINA determination – one that can discourage many youthful athletes from ethnic minority communities from pursuing aggressive swimming,” the group tweeted. “The Soul Cap swim caps had been barred by FINA as a result of ‘to their greatest data, the athletes competing at worldwide occasions by no means used or required to make use of caps of such dimension and configuration’. We imagine this assertion confirms the shortage of range in elite swimming and the shortage of urgency for change.”