An OU student organization is striving to resurrect the swim program on campus by organizing the first swim club since the 1970s.
OU is abundant in sporting programs and opportunities, but the university lacks a swim program and an official swim team.
The Splash Squad Swim Club has been active for only one semester and consists of three swimmers and two executive members, said Andy Rodriguez-Sanchez, a biology sophomore and president of the swim club.
“We want to get to the level of nationals. So we want to start competing next semester, and then hopefully getting a name and going to big events,” Rodriguez-Sanchez said.
“Anyone can join as long as they can swim 25 yards, or one length of the pool. They can join any time by simply just emailing me or hitting ‘like’ on our Facebook page,” she said.
As far as funding goes, the group hasn’t applied for it due to the size of their club, but they are optimistic for the future.
“We’ll look at funding probably in the future, especially when we get more members in order to fund for a coach. Right now, I’m coaching, so I’m using techniques I learned from my old coaches, but it would be better if we had an actual coach, so we can have better practices,” Rodriguez-Sanchez said.
Since the group is so new, it hasn't organized any events yet, she said.
“I think what we hope to do and what would be nice to have is a table at the activities fair at the beginning of next year. In regards to other events, at some point we want to host a meet for other Oklahoma clubs at the OU pool,” said Emily Vittitow, an industrial engineering analytics freshman and communications chair for the swim club.
The club is important to this group because the members all swam in high school and were disappointed they had to give up their hobby when they came to OU.
“It’s important for me and other people like me who like to swim and want to continue swimming. That way you don’t have to finish your swimming career in high school if you want to come to OU,” Rodriguez-Sanchez said.
“That’s one of the reasons why the swim club started too,” said Tabitha Brown, a biology sophomore and vice president of the swim club.
Rodriguez-Sanchez is passionate about swimming and resurrecting the swim program. She feels like it would be a great way for people to meet other swimmers and enjoy the hobby they love to do.
“I am a swimmer and was on the swim team in high school, and when I came to OU, I had to quit swimming because there’s not a team here. I decided to start something so people can continue swimming if they really enjoy it. This is a great opportunity for that,” Rodriguez-Sanchez said.
There are many students at OU from across the nation who would benefit by joining this club, Vittitow said.
“A lot of students come from Texas and California where swimming is a massive sport, and there’s not an outlet for all of that talent in the pool here,” Vittitow said.
The club encourages anyone interested in swimming to join.
“It’s a lot of fun, but once we have more members, we’ll be able to organize a lot of team bonding,” Vittitow said.
“It’s a great way to make friends for quote-unquote ‘life,’” Rodriguez-Sanchez said.