Beyonce promotes Jamaican synchronised swimmers in new video

By Melissa Talbert July 22, 2020

Beyoncé released a preview of her new visual album called ‘Black is King’. Though little is known about the project’s details, an outpouring of gratitude from synchronized swimmers signalled that they were featured in it.

Aquabatix USA, a professional synchronized swimming team “delivering innovative, award-winning water performances for live event entertainment and underwater productions and projects across America,” shared a clip of the visual on their Instagram page with a lengthy caption attached.

After acknowledging the impressive synchro skills Beyonce showcased in the visual, and recognising the efforts of two of their athletes as well, the team cut their self-praise short to thank Beyonce for allowing Jamaica’s Synchro team to make an appearance in the visual too.

“@beyonce showing off her incredible synchro skills. A couple of @aquabatixusa performers appear in #BlackisKing BUT we want to make this more about the brilliant @jamaica_synchro team that feature and how happy we are Queen Bey recognised their talent and artistry to cast them.”

Jamaica’s Synchronized swimming team, Island Aquatics Synchro club, according to their website is based in Kingston, Jamaica and the team is coached by double Olympic Gold Medalist Olga Novokshenova.

The group was featured in a New York Times Article titled, ‘Jamaica Has Never Had Olympic Synchronized Swimmers. These Girls Want To Change That.’

The article discussed the struggles faced by the girls of the Island Aquatics Synchro club around the time it was published on January 29, 2018.

“Attracting and sustaining new members is one of the biggest obstacles of trying to reach their Olympic dreams,” as “the athletes had their hearts set on qualifying for the duets category for the 2020 Summer Olympics.”

The heartfelt caption by the Aquabatix USA also accepts this is a problem faced by synchronised teams globally.

“Synchronised swimming (now known as artistic swimming), like most of aquatics worldwide is unfortunately still dominated by white people. For no other reason other than opportunity. If people of the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) community are not given the same opportunity and access to learn to swim, the less POC (people of colour) there are having the opportunity to access grassroots competitive synchronised swimming and then the less POC we see at the Olympics and also in the entertainment and production side of what we do. Also, the less POC then qualify as swimming and aquatics instructors/coaches, and as choreographers in synchro. It is so important to have POC synchro stars as role models to inspire younger generations and for them to say, that will be me one day.”

“There is no excuse for this lack of opportunity anymore. Everyone should have equal opportunity/access to learning to swim, enjoying the chance to try artistic swimming and to excel in it.”

The Island Aquatics Synchro club athletes are a force to be reckoned with. These girls are making the black community proud with their achievements and resilience.

According to Aquabatix USA, “The Jamaican synchro team is a competitive team, developing and working really hard, giving the opportunity of synchro to many and empowering them with the benefits of this sport, progressing through competitive rankings showing the world their skill and artistry & giving them a pathway with it.”

“Thank you, Queen Bey, for casting Team Jamaica synchro in Black is King to showcase these brilliant synchro swimmers and we hope many kids will see this and want a go!”

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