Children’s Swimsuits in Nigeria

Children’s Swimsuits in Nigeria
Children's Swimsuits in Nigeria

The US government has launched a $80 million program this year to “transform” its sports program, a nod to Nigerian children’s swimsuits that went viral last year.

The project — called “Uncle Tom,” in honor of the U.S. Olympic gymnast who lost her life in a race accident in 2006 — will see students take a five-minute video shot in Nigeria and then put it on YouTube.

The videos feature children who have won more than five gold medals and take an hour or more to learn, a senior swimmer says before the video is put on the web.

The idea to change a program for boys was born in 2008 at an education event attended by the U.S., Canada and India, as well as by U.S. Olympic Swimming coach John O’Higgins.

“I think that it’s a great way to help kids with special needs,” O’Higgins said of the effort. “It was born out of love for them and a desire for learning.”

The program was sponsored by Nairobi Unified School District, which will be using it this fall in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Swimming Foundation and the Australian Government.