By Stephanie Jennings
Bryant University is home to twenty-two amazing NCAA Division I sports teams. Athletes from each sport compete across the Northeast Conference, representing the black and gold. Since becoming a Division I school, athletes can also represent the university in postseason play. Bryant has many excellent facilities to help the athletes excel in their sports, such as the Bulldog Strength and Conditioning Center, the Chace Athletic Center Gym, the Comity Indoor Athletic Center and the Chace Aquatic Center Pool. These facilities are an important factor to the success of the athletes during their seasons. These amazing facilities allow over five hundred student athletes to practice on campus, with the exception of the diving team.
Yes, the swimming team practices at the Chase Aquatic Center Pool. The divers are a part of the swimming team, but they are not afforded the same convenience of practicing on campus due to the lack of diving boards and a diving well. The divers have to travel twenty minutes to Brown University every day for practice, and the only time for them to practice is from 7pm to 9pm. The divers usually leave at 6:15pm and do not get back until 9:45pm, which takes a large part of the evening away from studying. Sometimes, when Brown University is unavailable, the divers go to Worcester Polytechnic Institute or University of Rhode Island. These options require an hour-long bus ride just to get there. This means that two hours of their time is spent in travel. As one could imagine, the long drives to and from practice make it hard to keep up with school work. These athletes have been proven to be extremely devoted and great at multitasking because they are left with the choice to either get all school work done before practice or stay up all night finishing, or find a way to focus during the van ride to and from. Not the best scenario but they find a way to make it work.
Since we have so many nice athletic facilities, it should be time that the Bryant swimming and diving team add a diving well to the facility. You may be thinking ‘why don’t we keep this pool and just get diving boards?’ We wish it were that simple but unfortunately it’s not. First, the pool at Bryant is not deep enough for the divers to dive; we would need a twelve-to-fourteen foot deep pool. If we were to add a diving well it would attract more people come to the swim meets, and we would also be able to create more space for the spectators, allowing them to watch not only the swim team, but one of the most exciting events during the swim meet: diving! Having diving boards at Bryant will also make schoolwork more manageable for the divers because they will have more time to do work since they will not have spent most of their evenings traveling to and from another university to get a few hours of practice in. There are other perks to adding a diving well too. More club teams would probably come and rent the pool to use, thus creating a new space for other interested people and possibly creating a little bit of a revenue for Bryant. This is the perfect situation. Bryant will be missing out on if they do not build a diving well.
I am not trying to say that being a diver sucks because it doesn’t, and it’s nice that we get to be joined with the swimming team. Over the past couple of years the diving team has been growing and improving tremendously and because of all the success we have been having each year it should be time that we get rewarded with a diving well.