Fina says no to “inclusive” headphones in Tokyo and it is controversial

Fina says no to “inclusive” headphones in Tokyo and it is controversial

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Fina says no to “inclusive” headphones in Tokyo and it is controversial

The technical tool made especially for afro swimmers with curly and long hair was rejected by the world federation. The first black British cross-country skier: “Very disappointed”

Swimming caps designed for the frizzy and voluminous hair typical of Afro-descendants are not allowed in the Tokyo Olympics: the International Swimming Federation (Fina), responsible for defining the rules of water sports at the Games, has rejected the request for recognition of the Soul Cap producer. The reason is that they are not suitable because “they do not follow the natural shape of the head”. Furthermore, “according to the information available, athletes who compete in international events have never used, nor required to use, headphones of this size and shape”. The British brand produces caps specially designed for swimmers and swimmers with thick, curly and voluminous hair, particularly suitable for people of African descent. Fina has made it known that it is evaluating the situation with the company, “understanding the importance of inclusiveness and representation”. In addition, she said she is committed to ensuring that every person has access to appropriate swimwear for competitions, ensuring that it does not bring a competitive advantage.

Dialogue

“We don’t see it as a step back, but a chance to open a dialogue to make a difference in water sports,” Toks Ahmed-Salawudeen and Michael Chapman, founders of the brand in 2017, said on Twitter after meeting a black woman with curly and voluminous hair, who had problems using a swimming cap of those commonly on the market. According to the company’s website, 30,000 headphones have been shipped all over the world so far. “When you are young, feeling included and seeing yourself represented in sport is crucial,” Ahmed-Salawudeen said in a post: “Leaders are receptive to positive change.” The first black British cross-country runner at the Games, Alice Dearing, first Afro-descendant swimmer and only black swimmer for the country’s team, supported the Soul Cap initiative. cap, never that the cap was too small for my hair, ”he said. Dearing is also a co-founder of the Black Swimming Association (Bsa), which said she was “extremely disappointed” by Fina’s decision.

July 3, 2021 (change July 3, 2021 | 5:54 pm)