NIRSA began in 1950 as the National Intramural Association. In that year, the founder, Dr. William Wasson, convened a meeting of 20 representatives from 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities at Dillard University in New Orleans. This was the first conference. Eventually, the organization became known as the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, and they held that moniker until 2012.
Now they are simply NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation.
Cullen Jones, who trained here in Charlotte, NC, is a 4x Olympic medalist. He is also the first African American swimmer to hold a world record. At the 2008 Olympic Games, Jones was a part on the world-record setting 4x100 freestyle relay team. He is one of our BHM Honorees for the month. Read more about him under our "People to Know" section, but check out his interview on NPR below.
Check out this timeline from Stanford Research Park featuring significant milestones in the history of cycling within the African American community!
Katherine “Kittie” Knox, Major Taylor, and two of our Honorees - Nelson Vails and Ayesha Mcgowan - are mentioned.
Check out this article from Essence.com on African American women who have made a huge impact in the history of gymnastics in the United States both at the collegiate, World, and Olympic levels.
At 7 A.M. on May 19, 2006, Sophia Danenberg became the first African American to reach the top of Mount Everest.
May 12, 2022 the first all-Black team - Full Circle Everest - summited Mount Everest. Among the members who reached the top were Manoah Ainuu (a professional climber for The North Face), Eddie Taylor, Rosemary Saal, Demond Mullins, Thomas Moore, James “KG” Kagami, and Evan Green.