The Federation for International Competitions in water sports (FINA) has denied a swim cap designed for diverse hair types; from their approval process to become the certified hair wear for the Olympics swimming competition.
“To their best knowledge, the athletes competing at the International events never used; neither require to use, caps of such size and configuration’. The committee furthered that the brand’s caps were not suitable because they do not follow “the natural form of the head.” Metro UK, reports of the SOUL CAP brand swimming caps being barred by FINA.
This statement does not sit well with us. When will Afro hair be primarily considered? Even at the Olympics. Seems like no one cares about black hair. #BlackHairMatters
The co-founders of SOUL CAP, Toks Ahmed and Michael Chapman, have responded to the FINA decision; saying they are disappointed in the; “failure to acknowledge the diversity of competitive swimmers.”
The brand posted a statement on Instagram in response to the decision;
We hoped to further our work for diversity in swimming by having our swim caps certified for competition; so swimmers at any level don’t have to choose between the sport they love and their hair.
For younger swimmers, feeling included and seeing yourself in a sport at a young age is crucial. FINA’s recent dismissal could discourage many younger athletes from pursuing the sport as they progress through local, county and national competitive swimming.
We feel there’s always room for improvement, but there’s only so much grassroots and small brands can do – we need the top to be receptive to positive change.
A huge thanks to all who have supported us and our work so far. We don’t see this as a set back, but a chance to open up a dialogue to make a bigger difference.💧