Last summer, Manuel signed a contract with sponsor TYR (a popular competitive swim and triathlon apparel brand) that includes a reportedly unprecedented inclusion rider. While she can’t share many specifics of the contract, she says that the rider is meant to “provide meaningful opportunities to traditionally under-represented groups,” and “make sure diversity is at the forefront” of TYR’s creative processes.
“Representation is super important, and so for me, that means including people in spaces where they may not always feel included. I’m so thankful that TYR has allowed that and hopefully this will drive more diversity in the sport of swimming and just drive more minorities to want to learn how to swim,” Manuel says.
There is one example Manuel gives of what these sort of opportunities look like: “Whenever I go to a photo shoot I ask for a black beautician, because oftentimes in the beauty industry, they’re not included,” she says. “So to bring them into the swim space allows them to feel that they belong there and also that they are important.”