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Empowering diversity

812. Angeline Tshiyane

Angeline Tshiyane, from Newport, is the founder of a local swimming group for people from BME backgrounds.

According to recent figures from ‘Sport England’, more than half of Black Britons do not know how to swim, so Angeline’s targeted approach is helping to tackle this particular sporting issue. She has taught a number of young people, all from BME backgrounds, to swim by providing each of them with 20 free training sessions.

The members of her swimming group say that her classes are increasing their self-esteem, helping with weight loss and also lowering their blood pressure. She has also been profiled by Sport Wales’ initiative aimed at inspiring, empowering and encouraging more women and girls in Wales to get active and participate in sport.

In a personal letter to Angeline, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“By teaching children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds how to swim, you are tackling the root of a social issue while boosting the confidence of each of your students. You have created a pioneering and successful approach to increasing diversity and participation in the sport and have shown tremendous commitment in your volunteering in your local community of Newport.”

Angeline said: 

“I am really honoured to have been chosen for such a prestigious award and so thankful to God and so many people from my community who make this possible.  Swimming and other forms of exercise is a passion that I have always wanted to share with people especially from the BME community.  The many benefits of swimming lessons for instance are that children develop physical, cognitive and social skills quicker than those who don’t and for older folk like myself it’s longer life according to research.  I encourage more people from BME background to be involved in sports participation and volunteering at all levels.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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