The water’s fine, but guys can’t dive in for glory
October 8, 2004
Filed under Archives
here’s nothing like launching off a block, to the mighty cheers of hundreds, racing yourself and maybe eight others, depending on if you see them. Nothing like warming up, with your nerves tied up more than a Celtic knot. Certainly, there’s nothing like that for men here at Guilford.
What could I be speaking of besides swimming? America seems to have a notion that swimming is easy, yet any competitive swimmer will tell you the truth: competitive swimming is one of the hardest sports around.
One foot of swimming has the same caloric burn as three feet of running. Swimming also is the only sport that works every major muscle group at the same time.
Swimming is for anybody. You don’t need to be in perfect shape, nor do you have to have a certain body type. All you need is a desire to set your own limits, and a drive to get fit.
One of the best things about swimming is that it’s both an individual and team sport. Each swimmer races his own times, always striving to be faster, and at the same time races for the team.
I swam all four years in high school, going to the Maine State Championships each year, and helped break a school record my senior year.
When I looked at colleges three years ago, Guilford was at the top of my list; in fact it was the only one I applied to. I was offered a few swim scholarships, but I decided to come here. The only drawback? No swim team.
Fast forward to now. After having taken a year off to go to Europe and swim competitively there, I come here to find out we do have a swim team. A women’s swim team. No offense to female swimmers, but why don’t we guys have a team?
The answer, according to Guilford’s Sports Information Director Dave Walters, is primarily Title IX. Title IX relates to equality in schools for men and women, but is mostly applied to school sports. Most schools focus on the number of teams available for both sexes, rather than the number of participants in each sport.
Now I know that asking the athletics department for two more sports, such as men’s swimming and possibly women’s golf, just so that we guys could have a swim team, is a little much, but couldn’t we at least start an intramural swim team?
It could be as simple as having a few interested guys train together, and every month or so setting up a meet between us all. People could form relays, and if there are any local swim teams, we could also hold meets against them.
In Maine, if a school didn’t have enough people for a swim team, or didn’t feel it necessary to field one, students would find a parent to act as a coach, and travel to meets with as few as three swimmers.
Now I’m not sure if this is possible here, but isn’t it worth a shot? Maybe not, but I’m not going stop trying.