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Sunday, May 22, 2022

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Spiders club team CREWsing along the water

A club sports overhaul will allow the University of Richmond crew team to hire a part-time coach.

Crew team president, Catesby Saunders, said that the women's club crew team had been on track to follow the men's club lacrosse team. The lacrosse team was made a varsity club sport after it was able to raise the $360,000 necessary to do so. The team now has a yearly budget of $120,000, and after three years, will either return to club sport status or become a university varsity sport.

Instead of putting the women's club crew team through this same process, University of Richmond Recreation and Wellness decided to change the entire sports club program, Saunders said.

The new structure will place each club team into one of three-tiers: championship, competitive and recreational. Teams in the championship tier, such as the club crew team, are the teams that will benefit from hiring a coach, Saunders said. The new system was introduced about six weeks ago, Jake Hargadon, vice president of the club crew team, said.

"[Getting a coach] is really important because we've been waiting for a while to get a coach," Hargadon said. "Without money to offer to anyone, it is kind of difficult to get someone."

In the past, the crew team has had volunteer coaches but now they will be able to hire a part-time coach at around $15 an hour for 15 hours a week.

An important reason for the crew team to have a coach is to tow the large trailer the team travels with, taking liability away from the students, Saunders said.

"One of the big things a coach would help us with is on-water coaching," Saunders said, "as it is, students that have experience with crew that go out on the launch and help teach the novice boats."

A coach will be able to watch the launches and correct technique, Hargadon said. As of now, the more experienced students assign workouts and offer other team members advice on how to improve.

"Crew is kind of you get out of it what you put into it," Hargadon said. "We can only get to a certain level without a coach."

The club sports participants were told that even though they would be hiring a coach, their organizations would still be student-run and each have a student leadership council, Saunders said.

"They see value in student leadership, but that these clubs can benefit from having [a coach] there too," Saunders said.

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In addition to the money to hire a coach the team will receive additional funds which will allow it to get new equipment and repair old boats, Hargadon said.

Contact staff writer Brittany Brady at brittany.brady@richmond.edu

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