Africatown Partners with Dearborn YMCA, Diving with a Purpose and the National Association of Black Divers

Derrick Tinsley Dearborn YMCA

0Dearborn YMCA Marlins Swim Team provides training and competitive opportunities for swimmers of all ages to reach their individual and team goals. We are dependent on committed swimmers, family participation, booster club, and well-qualified coaching/instruction staff. The Marlins provide a safe and enjoyable environment to build sportsmanship, character, skills, friendships, and healthy productive lifestyle through the sport of swimming. Our swim team’s vision believes through skilled development, mastery, and achieving physical fitness, our swimmers learn sportsmanship, discipline, and commitment. Through this vision the Marlins Swim Team has continued to grow over the last three years since joining Dearborn YMCA. The Marlins are now a member of the Mobile County Aquatic League (MCAL), and ten swimmers are USA registered swimmers. The team has traveled to Raleigh, NC and competed in the 17th Annual National Black Heritage Swim Championships. Under the direction of Mr. Anderson Flen, the CEO of Dearborn YMCA, Mrs. Colett Huff, and the Aquatics Director/Head Swim Coach, Derrick Tinsley, a partnership was formed with Diving with a Purpose and the National Association of Black Divers.

Through this partnership youth out of the Plateau community will receive swimming instruction that will prepare them for basic scuba diving instruction. Our partnership is based on the understanding that the African-American community and minorities in general have a higher drowning rate as any other race in the nation. The Marlins Swim Program was initially developed in 2012 to drown-proof the African-American community. Out of that initial development, the Marlins Swim Team was born in 2014 and partnered with Dearborn YMCA in 2016. Through this development, a partnership to provide scuba training and swim instruction to African-American youth who now will have the opportunity to lean swimming skills, become life-guards, competitive swimmers, college swim teams, Navy/Coast Guard candidates, and professional scuba divers was formed. Coach Tinsley says he is, “very excited to be a part of this partnership, and swim team/program and coaches/parents are all very excited as well. We had our first experience with scuba training by Diving with a Purpose August 17, 2019, and the kids loved it. We can’t wait until they return in October. We will have 30/40 youths ready for pre-diving training, that’s our goal.”

The Scuba Diving Program

Thank you to the National Black Scuba Divers Association and Diving with a Purpose for partnering with the Africatown community and the Dearborn YMCA to help increase the number of African American swimmers and scuba divers. A special thanks to Senator Vivian Davis Figures for sponsoring this program.

Scuba Divers from the National Black Scuba Divers Association and Diving with a Purpose

Scuba Divers from the National Black Scuba Divers Association and Diving with a Purpose