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Letter to the editor

Swimming is a lifestyle

October 22, 2009

This isn’t just an activity-this is our lives. We don’t do this to get recognition. We aren’t even doing this for the shiny medals they give out.

We are out there giving 110 percent every day because it is what we love and we couldn’t live without it. Most of us would not be at this school if it didn’t have a swim team, and we have lost so many possible recruits because of that hole in the ground dungeon we call the Karges Pool. The closing of that pool could have been great if it didn’t mean we have to fight for the best thing in our lives right now. I wouldn’t be at a four-year college if it wasn’t for this swim program and the amazing people in it, and I feel sorry for you that you have yet to get the chance to know some of these swimmers who are the most amazing people I have ever known.

The fact that you don’t care about a program is not a valid reason to get rid of it. I don’t care for the football team; I have never bothered to go watch a tennis match. We have a golf team, and how many of you have been out to support them? Does that mean they don’t matter and should go away? Hell no! Just because they don’t get a lot of fans in the seats doesn’t mean they should not exist and I should get that money for my own interests.

You tell us we should have bake sales and a raffle. We are student athletes­—not a club, I have never seen the football team having a bake sale and I have never seen the hockey team have a raffle. They are not asked to fundraise for their sports funding. We have done fundraising at the Xcel Energy Center the past years, because we just do not get enough money to run the swim team.

We are given the least for the size of our team. We don’t even get buses to go to our meets—we load into fifteen and seven passenger vans. We canceled a meet this year because we didn’t have enough to get there. We have two volunteer coaches because there just isn’t enough money to pay them. But they believe in what we are doing so much that they are willing to give up so much of their time for nothing but the love of the sport and to be there during our best of times and to comfort us in our worst of times.

We aren’t out there frolicking in the water, we are out there working as hard as we can, two hours a day, six times a week. Our average GPA is the highest of any other sport on campus.

We were the only sport to march in the homecoming parade this year. We participate in the SAAC, and we are out there working hard during Halloween to trick or treat for canned goods, because we are trying to make a difference. We try harder than any other student athletes on this campus to make a difference.

We love what we are doing and we love being at this school and it truly sickens me that you don’t see us for what we are, and you don’t bother to learn anything about us before you tell us we don’t matter.

Justin Anderson