People’s Magazine

In a historic and triumphant moment, Howard University’s swimming and diving team achieved a milestone that will be etched in the annals of sports history. Marking their first conference title in 34 years, this all-Black collegiate swim team made waves by winning the 2023 title of the Northeast Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving championship in Geneva, Ohio. And Nicholas Askew, the coach of Howard’s swimming and diving team, exuberantly expressed his joy and pride at this remarkable achievement. “It’s the first conference title for our men’s program in 34 years, and it feels amazing,” he remarked. 

Moreover, the victory is an example of the dedication of the team, who believed in the possibility of success even when the odds were stacked against them. Howard University, a historically Black institution, boasts the only surviving swim program at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the United States. Their all-Black men swim team, from athletes to coaches and supporting staff, embodies the essence of excellence and determination, striving to bring diversity to the world of aquatics.  

Furthermore, Coach Askew recognizes that their success goes beyond the pool. In a sport that has long grappled with issues of representation and diversity, Howard’s coach sees a bigger mission. He envisions Howard University as a trailblazer, inspiring other HBCUs to revive their swim programs and diversify the world of competitive swimming. “Howard can’t be the only place, the only option because we only have so many roster spots,” he emphasized. “We are so glad to see the success and hopeful that other HBCUs will take note and restart their programs, so we can no longer be the only HBCU.”  

Last, Howard University’s historic win is a lesson to the power of belief, determination, and breaking down barriers in the world of sports. While offering hope and inspiration to aspiring athletes and institutions alike. It’s not just about winning championships; it’s about championing diversity and inclusion in every stroke and dive, in and out of the pool.