if you were with me when i did the effy challenge back in april, you know i have a son, henry, who is a college senior, and a member of his school's swim & dive team. he set a goal back in high school to get recruited to a division one team, and he made it happen. he worked his tail off, he sacrificed free time, but he did it.
he loves this team, he loves the people on it, but they have struggled over the past year.
problems with the pool ... repairs that cause delays in training ... not much support from the athletics department and administration ... they are hanging on by a thread.
these kids have been training for this four years of competition since they were little, and they live on the anxious ledge of, "will we be around for another season?"
so here is my very selfish challenge today - and under normal circumstances, i wouldn't do this, but these are not normal circumstances:
today is one day for state ... a 24-hour fundraiser held by the school to fill different program and department buckets for things like scholarships, new equipment, whatnot. in the case of the swim team, they are aspiring to raise $50,000; that would give them not only a shot at a training trip (which they've never had - even though most other swim teams are able to take one during winter break each or every other year), but it would also give the new members on the team something as simple as a team bag or jacket, which no class has gotten since henry's freshman year. the money just hasn't been there.
last year, the team raised $20,000, which enabled them to sleep in slightly better hotel beds during travel meets, and eat slightly better food (pasta vs jimmy johns) after these meets. if you know anything about students athletes, they burn a ton of calories, and any upgrade to food is both necessary and welcomed.
from the team instagram page:
Last year, we were faced with many uncertainties, but ONE thing is for sure - we didn’t let them stop us! The women’s team was undefeated during the regular season, going 5-0. Both men’s and women’s teams placed second at conference, with fantastic swims all around. We had 5 individual champions, countless medals, and major representation in the A final heats. We plan to return with even more momentum to make this our best year yet! To keep us going, we need your help! All donations are appreciated and no amount is too small!
so that's it today. i'm putting it out to you all and the universe: please support this team. please help them have a season without anxiety and uncertainty. covid has made things tough enough without the financial worries on top. even five dollars would be a help, and would be wholly appreciated and welcomed by these kiddos.
to donate: follow this link, choose swimming & diving from the drop down "gift designation" box, fill out the rest of the information, and that's it.
thank you all, who are able - and choose - to help, from the bottom of my heart.