A Woman with Purpose: Alice Dearing

A Woman with Purpose: Alice Dearing

Alice Dearing is one of the world's top swimmers and a true game-changer in the sport. In 2021 she became the first Black woman to swim for Great Britain at an Olympic Games, representing a huge milestone for diversity in the sport. Alice is also co-founder of the Black Swimming Association, an organization that advocates for water safety and inclusion for Black and Asian minorities within swimming. Her passion for diversity and inclusion makes her an advocate for change and a true woman with purpose.

When did you realize that swimming is your passion and will be your career?

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved being in and around water. My fondest memories of holidays as a young child always involve being at a pool or by the sea. I never truly considered the possibility of having a career as a professional swimmer until I was 22. I was just about to finish my master's and began to see amazing opportunities open up to me. Ones which would be able to support me whilst I continued to be the best I could in the water.

You are the first Black female swimmer to represent Great Britain at the Olympic games in 2021. How did it feel stepping into this role?

This was a great honor. I never thought I was capable of qualifying and competing for Great Britain at the Olympics until two years before the games. Throughout my swimming journey, I had always strived to be the best I could be and just continued looking for the next level. So, to have made it to the pinnacle of my sport was very special and showed me all of the hard work is worth it. Also, it was very cool to be a small part of the history of Black people in swimming. I want to encourage everyone, no matter their race or background, to learn to swim and find their connection with the water. Swimming is a life skill which I believe all should have access to be able to learn.

International Women's Day is coming up. Is there any woman in sports that particularly inspired you?

Serena Williams is THAT sportswoman. She has had such a long and dominant career at the top of her sport but also such a powerful voice outside of it too. It always excites me when I see sportswomen and men reaching out of the bounds of their sport to spark inspiration wherever they can.

Why do you believe in the power of sports?

We ALL have a relationship with sport. It is part of our life, and for some, it is a happy and involved relationship. Sports, like, fashion or music, can speak to so many people in different ways. There is variety, community, and self-discovery waiting with each sport. It can reach wide and bring people together in the spirit of competitiveness and kindness to help others learn and succeed.

When and why did you feel the need to found the Black Swimming Association?

I helped co-found the Black Swimming Association (BSA) in 2020. It came off the back of the four co-founders feeling tired of the issues Black and Asian people still faced when getting in the water. Black and Asian people are less likely to swim, and there are specific stereotypes and myths which have been prevalent for decades. We wanted to make sure that we aren't missing out on generations of swimmers like we have done in the past. I would love to see more and more elite swimmers of color representing their countries in the future.

What's one change you'd like to see in the sport?

In swimming, I'd just love to see everyone in the water safely. Feeling happy and comfortable in their suit. Trusting they have the ability to learn to swim and loving it all.

Sandy Edgerley Akris Women with Purpose

Woman with Purpose: Sandy Edgerley

Sandy Edgerley’s impressive career first as a consultant for Bain & Co., next as the founder of the real estate...

Learn more
Women with Purpose

Women with Purpose

​Akris has always been about women. Women who create, lead, inspire and dare. Women who wear confidence, make their own...

Learn more
The Story

The Story

“Akris was founded by my grandmother in 1922 as an apron atelier because raising two boys was not enough for...

Learn more

    We noticed that you are located in the United Kingdom. Due to current shipping restrictions and to better serve your needs, kindly contact the Akris London Boutique for assistance with order enquiries.

    Akris London
    30 Old Bond St, Mayfair
    London W1S 4QQ
    United Kingdom
    Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm

    Contact store now