2 min read
04 Feb

Feb.2021 Staff

THIS is the YEAR (and next, and the next, etc.) where people are listening and we can now have conversations together! We can learn how to truly define diversity, equity and inclusion for our context of understanding so we can heal any social injustice in sports and in our lives.

Hello, I am Coach Tina, and about me:

I am the DEI Chairperson for the Pacific Association of Synchronized Swimming (PASS) in Northern California and moderator for the new NCASA website. I was elected (Sept 2020) to the USA Artistic Swimming (USAAS) Federation Board of Governance. In addition, I am serving as the athletes with disabilities (AWD) chairperson for the USAAS DEI Vice President Ashley Johnson. I am currently enrolled in the San Jose State University Grad Program for Kinesiology, with a focus of sports management for adapted physical activity/sports and athletes with disabilities. 

I am a former USA Swimming youth athlete and have participated as an athlete and coached multiple sports as an adult. I have experience as a youth ballet dancer for 6yrs. I trained in artistic swimming as a master swimmer when my daughter first became involved with the sport in 2009. 

I have been involved in the sport of Artistic Swimming for 11yrs, which included 4yrs judging for local competitions. I am currently the President of a small non profit, Artistic Swim AWD, which is the conduit for a global grass roots movement to include Artistic Swimming in national and int'l competitions and as future Paralympic sport. I am a coach for the team, Bay Area Synchro (since 2016), which is primarily a team that serves diverse athletes of all abilities, specifically athletes with disabilities and the under represented athletes in our community. Our team is the first to be placed on the club locater for the USA Paralympic Team USA Committee website Artistic Swimming for Athletes with Disabilities Artistic Swim AWD (teamusa.org)  to provide training and development for future Paralympians in Artistic Swimming. My daughter who has been a local artistic swimmer for the past 11yrs is my role model. She started the movement for AWD in Artistic Swimming globally in 2015 to include AWD in our sport locally, nationally and internationally. 

My daughter and I have informally been the 'representatives' for many diverse voices of athletes in Artistic Swimming. We are advocates for athletes with disabilities in our sport locally, nationally and internationally. We are the removers of barriers for those who need help in removing those barriers which limits their opportunities, whether in sport, at school, or in life.

One of my goals is to help cement the commitment of artistic swim clubs for diversity, equity and inclusion. Continuing education about who the swimmers and coaches are and to share their cultures and voices on how we can 'move as one'. We Move As One: USA Artistic Swimming Campaign Launch | Mission (missionmedia.com)

I am the conduit for enhancing Northern California club/team programs and extending the outreach to include our populations who are under represented and economically disadvantaged. We have the ability to share our sport with a larger population of people and I want to ensure that happens and continues to happen. 

We are not on a trend, this is not a 'one time' endeavor, nor is this the desire to fill the seats with 'tokenism' or 'tolerance'. This is a continuing and evolving social change for our sport. DEI is a name, but the action we participate in and move forward with, is what makes DEI equitable. Join me in coming together and taking that action to continue the excellence with our sport.

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