Brooklyn, NY — To promote water safety and help reduce incidents of drowning in his district, New York State Sen. Kevin Parker partnered with the Swim 1922 partnership between Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and USA Swimming on Saturday, June 22 to hold a half-day clinic for more than 50 adults and youth. The clinic was held at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club at Thomas S. Murphy in Brooklyn, location of the only public pool in district 21.

(left) Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority thanks New York State Sen. Kevin Parker for his partnership to bring the live-saving Swim 1922 clinic to his district. The day marked the beginning of the partnership to provide more access to pools and lessons for the African American community. Parker, right, is pictured with Deborah Catchings-Smith, international president of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. Olympic silver medalist and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority member Maritza McClendon leads a Swim 1922 clinic and helps a future swimmer learn to float in the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club pool. – Photo Credit: Bill Allen

The sorority’s seven year-old partnership with USA Swimming, Swim 1922, is named for the year the sorority was founded. Annually, approximately 20,000 adults and youth participate in these swim clinics across the United States. Olympic silver medalist and sorority member Maritza McClendon leads the effort on behalf of the sorority.
“Swim 1922 not only saves lives through the educational clinics, it aligns with our healthy lifestyle advocacy work and vision for full access to recreational and competitive swimming opportunities for African Americans,” said Deborah Catchings-Smith, international president of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. “We are pleased to partner with Sen. Parker and advocate for opening more pools and providing free or low-cost swim lessons to those in his district and African American communities throughout the country.”


About USA Swimming
USA Swimming is the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States. It is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through teams, events and education.

About Maritza McClendon
Olympian Maritza (Correia) McClendon made history when she became the first black woman to break an American swimming record, setting new records in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events at the Women’s NCAA Championships in 2002. In 2004, Maritza became the first Black woman to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic swim team and won an Olympic silver medal as part of the 400 meter free relay team during the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.

About Sigma Gamma Rho
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., an international collegiate and non-profit community service organization, was founded in 1922 on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis. It has welcomed more than 90,000 members who have joined the organization as undergraduates and professionals. Official affiliate groups include Rhoer Club (young girls) and Philos (friends of the sorority). The sorority has more than 500 chapters in the United States, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, South Korea and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the mission of the sorority to enhance the quality of life for women and their families in the U.S. and globally through community service. Programs, initiatives, and partnerships are devoted to progress in the areas of education, healthcare, political action, and leadership development. The sorority is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, and is a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s “Divine Nine.” For more information, visit