The Florida A&M swim team was forced to sit out the HBCU Swimming Innovational scheduled for Jan. 29 due to a lack of preparation.
Swimming and Diving Coach Jorge Olaves made an executive decision to pull his team out of Saturday’s meet. He feels they were not prepared to effectively compete due to lack of pool, weather conditions and funds.
The FAMU Aquatics Center is currently closed due to a lack of operating and OPS funds. The pool is predicted to begin renovations May 2011.
The swim team is forced to practice at FSU athletic pool when their swim team is not having practice or in need of it.
“My swimmers want to practice and get better. Due to the schedule conflict it is almost impossible to do so,” said Olaves. “Having our own facility would eliminate a lot the current problems.”
Along with not having an available university pool, the weather is another factor that hindered the swim team’s preparation for the meet. With temperatures in the 20s and 30s during the early morning, practices were pushed back, causing a time conflict with the FSU’s swim team.
Having an indoor pool for athletic and recreational purposes is a necessity according to the team.
“Not having an indoor pool has tremendously affected the team as a whole,” said Bria Bennett. “It has been really challenging trying to get a good workout in under the conditions we are faced with.”
Coach Olaves said that an ideal practice time for a swim team is once in the early morning and once in the afternoon. The team is unable to do so because the FSU swim team also has to practice.
They get first priority for their pool even though we are paying to use their facility.
“Despite the current circumstances we will continue to prepare for our next meet which is conference it will takes place in February,” said Bennett.
Practice conflicts have forced Coach Olaves to move morning practices to the mid-day, which is when majority of the swimmers are in class, forcing him to have to commute back and forth from FSU twice a day.
Coach Olaves said that it would be less stressful if the university had its own facility, but he is willing to do whatever it takes to see his swimmers compete at their best.