FINA to review competition use of caps designed for afro hair | Inquirer Sports
Close  

FINA to review competition use of caps designed for afro hair

/ 02:37 PM July 03, 2021
tokyo olympics qualifiers swimming

FILE — Lukas Maertens (Up) and Florian Wellbrock of SC Magdeburg compete in the Men’s 1500m Freestyle final race during day 3 of the German Olympic Qualifications, which doubles as a qualifier event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic on April 18, 2021. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann / AFP)

LONDON—Swimming’s world governing body FINA said on Friday it would review whether caps designed for afro and big hairstyles could be worn in its competitions if there was no advantage to be gained from using them.

Media reports had quoted FINA as saying a ‘Soul Cap’ product, designed to fit over dreadlocks, braids and afros, could not be used at the Olympics because it did not fit “the natural form of the head.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Black swimmers are hugely outnumbered in elite swimming, with the sport seeking to break down a range of socio-economic barriers.

Britain will have a Black female swimmer competing at an Olympics for the first time in Tokyo with Alice Dearing qualifying for the open-water marathon.

FEATURED STORIES

Dearing had partnered with Soul Cap to help promote greater diversity, with some young Black women reportedly put off swimming because of hair issues. The brand had criticized FINA’s reaction as discouraging.

“FINA acknowledges the comments and reactions concerning the use of ‘Soul Cap’ swim caps in FINA competition,” the governing body said in a statement, without mentioning the Olympics specifically.

“FINA is committed to ensuring that all aquatics athletes have access to appropriate swimwear for competition where this swimwear does not confer a competitive advantage.

“FINA is currently reviewing the situation with regards to ‘Soul Cap’ and similar products, understanding the importance of inclusivity and representation.”

It pointed out there was no restriction on the cap for recreational and teaching purposes and said it would talk to the manufacturer about using the products in FINA Development Centres, which aim to develop the potential of athletes from countries with few achievements in swimming.

“FINA expects to make its consideration of ‘Soul Cap’ and similar products part of wider initiatives aimed at ensuring there are no barriers to participation in swimming, which is both a sport and a vital life skill,” it added.

The cap and goggles, and how the water flowing around the head interacts with the swimsuit material and design, are key areas of swimming technology. A baggier cap would likely slow a swimmer down.

Many professional swimmers also wear an inner cap to secure the outer one.

RELATED STORIES

Swimming body giving $6.5M in aid for athletes

Swimming reinvents itself with glitz and cash of pro league

Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: FINA, Tokyo Olympics
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our sports news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.