Girls swim struggles to attract new members


Teresa Scribner

Team captains Isabella Abad, left, and Charlie Cox frolic in the pool after a recent practice. Despite their recruiting efforts, turnout for the girls swim team was low this season.

Ian Blackburn and Zeinab Mohamed

Cleveland’s girls swimming team was small, but their numbers didn’t affect their spirit. They struggled early in the season, sometimes having only four girls available to compete in an entire meet. Most of the swimmers have either graduated or left the team.

“A few girls this season had to quit because of AP classes or just out of laziness,” said senior co-captain Isabella Abad.

Not only did the team lose a number of members, but there also aren’t many people joining. During the fall sports season, many girls choose cross country, soccer or volleyball over swimming.

“Swimming isn’t really a huge sport and … the competition scares new people away,” said Abad. The lack of numbers could mean the end of Cleveland’s swim team.

“We are in danger of possibly merging with Franklin’s swim team next school year,” Abad said.

When asked her thoughts on the unpopularity of swimming, junior co-captain Charlie Cox believes it all has to do with timing.

“Some girls want to join but they are beginners,” Cox said. “They have to work their way up. I think it’s best to join when you’re a freshman.”

Last year, swimming went from being a co-ed team to girls’ swimming in the fall season and the boys’ season in the winter.

“Back when I was a freshman, swimming was co-ed and we had a lot more members and a lot more people knew about the team,” Cox said. “But now I feel like the split has caused it to become less popular.”

Cox is working hard to recruit freshmen to the team, but feelings of intimidation are an obstacle for many of them.

Coach Nathan Burdick said that the teacher’s strike “messed up the season” because the only people who could join were people who knew about it, excluding the freshmen.

“Girls know friends who want to swim but don’t know how to,” Burdick said. “What they don’t know is that we like to encourage and teach people.”