USA Swimming, Sigma Gamma Rho encourage swimming

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - USA Swimming is partnering with Sigma Gamma Rho, a historically black national sorority, as it continues its campaign to increase participation in the sport and help counter staggering drowning statistics in minority communities.

The new partnership was announced Saturday as the sorority gathered in New Orleans for its biennial conference, meeting through Tuesday.

Multicultural Marketing Director Talia (tuh-LEE-uh) Mark says, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the African-American and Hispanic communities 60 to 70 percent of children can't swim, and black children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than that of their Caucasian peers.

Mark says an easy cure is to get more people involved with swimming.

The sorority' president, Joann Loveless, says the project is a perfect fit with the sorority's education missions.

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