By JARED MILLER/Montana State News
Bozeman is an active community with runners, cyclists and fitness junkies of all kinds. However, if four years ago you were a student at Montana State University and loved swimming, specifically competitive swimming, you didn’t have an organized club to practice and compete with.
Today, though, the same cannot be said.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of current MSU Swim Club President Alex Irish and club Vice President Jordan Burt, the university was able to have a club for those who like getting their exercise in the water. Irish being a lifeguard at a local pool saw he had the perfect opportunity to get the club on its feet. “I love swimming,” he said, “and I was also in the great position to start (the club).”
It took some hard work and mentoring from his boss, but some two years ago MSU’s swim club was born. “We ended up with five to 10 regular members that first semester,” said Irish and since then the club has only grown. Now they have about 15 members that attend regularly according to Irish.
The organization is still small for a school-recognized club and needs help from within to be able to compete in events such as the Montana Masters Competition in which club members participate. “Right now most of our income comes out of cleaning up after events in the field house,” said Irish. The club will be able to set up and clean up for football games next fall, which should help it raise money as well.
Even though they are still relatively unknown, one shouldn’t expect this group to be going anywhere anytime soon. “I see the swim club growing a lot,” Irish said, “We have developed a great community of swimmers that are all so accepting of new members.” And as the club grows, the income and competitions will follow.
They aren’t exactly front-page news. They are the ones cleaning up garbage after a concert and preparing for the next big football game but, for the MSU Swim Club and its members, the sky is the limit.
– edited by Merrit Geary