Students eagerly joined Palm Beach Atlantic University's new swim club this fall, despite paying for facility use, equipment and transportation costs.
Freshman Rachel Rummo, the swim club’s founder and president, said that the swim club is worth participating in, despite the cost.
“It will help people physically stay fit, and we will also grow together as a Christian community of athletes," Rummo explained.
After the club received approval from PBA's student government, more than 15 students joined the club. The members include on-campus students, commuters and a mix of lower and upper-class students from across the nation.
Rummo said she wants to include swimmers at every level by making sure there will be a workout that everyone can do.
Due to the absence of an on-campus pool, the club will be using the facilities of Lake Lytal Family Aquatic Center. Rummo negotiated the pool fee for a swim club member from $70 per month to $40 per month. By December, a club member will pay $160 to use the pool. Projections for the fall semester show the swim club spending a total of $2,400 for facility use alone.
The aquatic center offers qualified coaches, a 50-by-25 meter swimming pool and competition opportunities for PBA swimmers.
"The facilities at Lake Lytal are quite generous… There are plenty of lanes for everyone, which is incredible," Rummo said.
Swim club member Graciana Maier said that even though the price is reasonable, payment could be a potential struggle for unemployed college students.
“If you have a job, it [meeting the price] is not that hard. You need a regular income flow, otherwise, you will be losing money,” Maier said.
Swim equipment also factors into the expenses of members. Although equipment is not required, it is highly encouraged by Rummo, who said it would help the swimmers train more efficiently. During an interest meeting on Sept. 8, Rummo addressed the importance of the equipment and recommended locations to buy high-quality, affordable gear. Recommended equipment includes fins, paddles, kickboards, snorkels, buoys and triangle boards. The swim gear will help target specific muscles to enhance strength and endurance.
"It's swimming smarter, not harder," Rummo explained.
Club members are currently working on a transportation method to accommodate each individual’s schedule. The aquatic center is located 11 minutes from campus. Because some students without vehicles are forced to carpool with other students, they must pay an extra $5 fee to compensate for gas prices.
"The biggest challenge of starting the club is getting the communication, especially for the drivers," Rummo said.
Rummo swam competitively in high school, and her love of swimming motivated her to start the club. She said she was inspired by hearing how the lacrosse team at PBA began as a club and grew to be a full-fledged part of the athletics department at PBA that receives support and financial backing from the school. Rummo and Maier hope this may also be the case for the swim club and are excited for the future of PBA Swim.
"To get your money's worth out of the club, you should go [to the pool] as much as you can. If you only go once a week, it's a $10 swim. But if you go all the time [all the daily practices], it's pretty cheap," Rummo said.
By Sarah Gale