Black Swimming Association is up in arms over ban on use of swim cap at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. FINA, body that regulates international swimming, has rejected application from the brand SOUL CAP. Its product is cap that accommodates diverse hairstyles and hair types. The company wants cap certified for competition swimming. It wants to help swimmers with afros, braids, dreadlocks, hair extensions, weaves, and thick and curly hair. FINA said it would not permit Soul Cap because swimmers have never used cap "of such size and configuration" before. FINA stated it would not be permitted because "it didn't fit natural form of the head".
The Black Swimming Association was aghast at decision and called it step backwards for black swimmers. It warned it would drive away swimmers from diverse backgrounds. BSA spokeswoman Danielle Obe said: "This will affect younger and up-and-coming swimmers who might want to consider taking up elite swimming." She added: "At highest level, we're hearing that, 'we want sport to be inclusive and representative; we want to have people of colour in sport, but we want them to join on our terms'. This will affect their decision because by and large, hair is significant barrier, especially for women." The caps are allowed at all Swim England clubs and competitions.