The University of Maine Swim Club started its weekly sessions this year on Sept. 13. Located at the Stanley M. Wallace Pool in the Memorial Gym, the club allows for athletes to practice their swimming prowess and grow a sense of comradery with other members.
Practice takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Each practice session contains roughly four sets of workouts ranging from intermediate to advanced difficulty.
Each practice is created by one of five different executive members who prepare practice for everyone, and the individual swimmer can adjust the workout to their own personal preferences in case they want it to be more intense or less intense.
Since it is a club sport the UMaine swim club is not regulated by the National College Athletic Association. Rather, the swim club functions similar to a Division III sport team. Students are not recruited but they are able to join and compete against other teams regionally or nationally if they want the option.
Swim club members can become a part of the club roster through registration on the IMLeagues website and are required to do so in order to attend practice. While the club is composed of one single team there are two separate groups that swimmers can opt to sign up for.
The first group is the practice team, which allows for members to attend swim practice regularly and compete at meets at home and in the Bangor area.
The second group is the travel team. The travel team consists of a maximum of 20 members and is designated for those who typically want to compete at a higher level as well as attend nearly every practice with more commitment involved. Because of this they get to attend overnight meets.
The practice team dues are currently $30 per year while the travel team dues are currently $50 per year.
Claire Pellegrino is the current swim club president and has been part of the club for
three years. Pellegrino states that fundraisers for this semester are being planned in the near future. The UMaine Swim Club is not only a viable outlet for swim athletes to enhance their skills, but also functions as a social outlet for swimmers to get involved in team social events as well.
“My favorite part about managing the club is being able to provide opportunities for teammates to improve their swimming, make long-lasting friendships, and to continue swimming in college. Sometimes it’s hard to balance extracurriculars and schoolwork, but I like being able to have different practice times, home/away meets, volunteering/fundraising opportunities, and to create a fun environment as a club sport at Umaine so every swimmer can be involved,” Pellegrino said.
Above all else the UMaine Swim Club is a flexible athlete program that is open to all, whether it be for personal self improvement or for athletes to get involved with others who have the same interest in swimming. Bradley Wallace, the current vice president of the swim club, enjoys setting up meets and events that help create a sense of community between swimmers.
“My favorite part of being a swimmer for the University of Maine Swim Club is definitely the people; we have a lot of fun at practice, official and University of Maine unofficial events, and swim meets both home and away,” Wallace said.
The first meet of this semester will be a relay meet held at Husson University in Bangor on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. and is open to both the practice and travel teams. The opponents will include Husson, Maine Maritime Academy and St. Joe’s. The second meet will be for the Minuteman Invitational at Amherst, Massachusetts for travel team members only.