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Dillette to receive special award

Bahamian swimmer Alana Dillette is one of two persons who will be honored at the 25th Annual Black History Invitational Swim Meet, set for February 17-20, in Washington, D.C.

Courageous and notable black swimmers, whose contributions are known throughout the world, are recognized during the weekend event.

The event, which was co-founded in 1987 by the Department of Parks and Recreation(DPR)and The United Black Fund, Inc.(UBF)in honor of Black History Month, has honored past greats such as Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. The two organizations, DPR and UBF, have worked together every year since the meet’s inception. Together, they have produced the first swim meet in the United States to honor Black History Month.

The invitational was founded with the goals of providing urban youth with a positive outlet for expression, exposure to strong competition, a forum to meet positive role models, and the opportunity to visit the nation’s capital. Since the very first year, DPR and UBF are proud that the Black History Invitational Swim Meet has fulfilled these goals and has grown from a small, local competition to one now hailed by USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming, as the’premier minority swim competition in the United States and in the world’. The two-day annual event now attracts nearly 800 minority competitors, ages 518, from swim teams in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, New York and other metropolitan areas in the United States.

The meet will be held at the Takoma Aquatic Center in Washington. Beginning in 1989, the Black History Invitational Swim Meet Steering Committee has chosen courageous and notable African Americans whose contributions are known throughout the world to be recognized during the weekend’s event.

This year, the honorees are Bahamian Olympic swimmer Alana Dillette and American Diving Champion Michael Wright. The meet seeks to provide urban youth with a positive outlet for competition and a forum to meet positive role models. This yar, the three-day event features over 30 swim teams and over 900-plus swimmers from around the United States. Swimmers range from age 8-18.

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