Swim 50 For Change - All About Blair Wootson
Hi, I’m Blair Wootson, a young swimmer with my sights set on the Olympics and my heart set on affecting change. Specifically, with diversity and inclusion in the sport of swimming. I have won a gold medal at the Southeastern Swim Championships in Huntsville, AL as a 9–10-year-old, along with a handful of silver and bronze medals. I am the first male African American to win a medal (Gold Medal) in that competition on my swim team, which is one of the oldest swim clubs in Florida (1954). As of January 2021, I am the fastest 11–12-year-old in the region.
Inside the pool, I feel like I was born to swim. My dad taught me to swim when I was very young, and my love for swimming skyrocketed with his assistance. I showed promise as a competitive swimmer since 2017, but when quarantine began in March 2020, I saw an opportunity to get faster (my pool never closed). I began swimming two-a-days and started working on cardio workouts (pushups and sit-ups) and the commitment I showed carried over outside of the pool too.
In the Spring of 2020, while our country was reeling from the most intense racial divide in my lifetime, I had an idea to bring people together. I wanted my idea to not just make a small spark, but to spread this fire of change beyond my nation and into the waters of the world. I created a challenge where I ask other swimmers to swim a 50 yards or meters in any stroke (in the pool or in open water) while thinking of how to make a difference in the world. My idea spread like wildfire and soon Olympians, professional Triathletes and Swimmers, and even people who did not swim at a competitive level, were posting their #Swim50ForChange swims on their social media channels.
As the #Swim50ForChange challenge spread, I learned that many people around the world did not actually know how to swim and that African American children are some of the most underserved in this important life skill. This further fueled my wanting to raise funds to support organizations that make a difference in the lives of others. My goals outside of the pool now include helping as many organizations as I can, and that is what most of the proceeds from Swim 50 For Change will go toward. Therefore I decided to team up with Chlorine Deckwear, an AWESOME company, who also believes in the message of change.
To reach out for more information, or how you can support #Swim50ForChange, email me at Swim50forchange@gmail.com and follow me @swimmerblair on Instagram and @swim50forchange on Instagram. Thank you.
We can all make a difference, one 50 at a time.