By Tiffany Hunt, Howard University News Service
Coach Fogan has a passion for diversifying the sport of swimming and has taught all over the U.S., and has created a new social media challenge called, #PayYoWaterBillChallenge.
Darrell Fogan was born on September 22, 1962 in Marion, South Carolina. Fogan is currently a swimming professor at Howard University where he teaches beginner and intermediate classes in the Health Human Performance and Leisure Studies department. Fogan is also an assistant coach to the Howard University’s Swim and Dive Team. Fogan, a former Red Cross health and safety representative has done work all over the U.S. He has gone to D.C., Florida, South Carolina, Colombian Union in Takoma Park, Maryland, and at the University of District Columbia to teach people of all races how to swim, but his main focus is the black community. “At the conclusion of this 3- hour workshop, you will leave confident in your
swimming ability and able to tell your friends and family that not only can you swim, you can swim swim.” Fogan, a South Carolina State University and Howard University graduate, is also the owner of his own business called Metro Wellness Institute Incorporated. His business is a D.C. based fitness and health company that is dedicated to providing CPR, first aid, and private swimming lessons to people across the country,” he said. Fogan’s work has been highlighted in a documentary film by the graduate school film department at New York University called “Teaching Blacks to Swim Through Fear.” In this film Fogan showcases his innovative swimming methods and abilities to help people break through their fear of swimming.
Fogan’s most recent work is his #PayYoWaterBillChallenge. “The Pay Yo Water Bill Challenge” was coined from Fogan’s own experiencing of learning how to swim. Fogan started to learn how to swim at the age of six, and grew up in a segregated swimming environment. Growing up in a segregated environment made Fogan realize that he needed to obtain skills like swimming, because he was aware of the “blacks can’t swim stereotype” that was put upon him. Fogan knew that in the future when it came to obtaining opportunities that he wanted to have skills that most people wouldn’t think he would have acquired. The life lessons that Fogan grew up with through swimming has influenced his teaching methods.
People who have worked alongside with Fogan can also attest to the impact that he has on the swimming community. “He is one of the most experiential and influential beginning swimming professors that I know. He first eliminates the fear of the water and then teaches the swimming techniques. He is most influential with African American swimmers who have a history of high drowning rates and his work to decrease this statistic is commendable,” said Noah Nicholas a lifeguard at Howard University Burr Gymnasium. Another Lifeguard agrees. “Coach Fogan teachers swimming in an old school style, that was new to a young certified WSI (water safety) instructor like myself, I learned to respect and learn from his older methods to help my newest swimmers,” said Kennedy Shelton another lifeguard at Howard University Burr Gymnasium.