Juan Garcia, sophomore captain of Webster’s soccer team, is among the students advocating for a new gym facility on campus. Garcia said space is an issue.
“If there is one group in, then the rest of the school pretty much can’t use the fitness center…People start going in the hallways, and then we get complaints about people in the hallways,” Garcia said. “On a constant basis, we get some sort of complaint.”
Athletes want to work out, but they tend to have little space to get their work done. When one team is in the workout room, the rest have to move around or go to the hallway near glass cabinets.
A committee of 11 students and teachers met to advocate for new space. Safety is one of their main concerns. On April 11, The committee presented to faculty, staff, and students what they believe are the best options for updating the facilities. Matt Mulhearn is a baseball player and one of the members.
“As a committee we were looking for a survey to help show how much we as a community want change,” Mulhearn said. “The survey was to really highlight the need for more athletic/recreational space.”
That is exactly what they found. Out of 135 athletes interviewed, 134 said a new athletic/recreational facility would enhance their student-athlete experience at Webster.
Not only do athletes want a new place to work out, but the numbers for Webster’s recreational space are lower than required.
As stated by Garcia, this pushes students out of the weight room and into the hallway with glass cabinets on both sides. Not only is this a hazard for broken glass, but it is a hazard for people trying to walk through the hallway.
The other option is for teams to share the cramped gym space. Sophomore Khyle Buchanan said sharing the space makes it difficult for her cheerleading team.
“As cheerleaders, we have practice at six in the morning. Sometimes there are other sports teams in there,” Buchanan said. “This year the soccer team was in there…it was hard for us to practice with our team’s music.”
Buchanan’s frustrations come from the inability to hear his team’s music while the soccer team played their workout music. Each team would stop their music to allow the other team to hear their own music.
The gym is also used to host events. If an event is going on in the facility, players cannot get their work done.
“If you want to put work in yourself, there are other people in there,” freshman basketball player Nathan Hall said.
This is because the gym is constantly reserved, often hosting multiple events and speakers. If there is an event being hosted, then, students cannot get their work done.
Webster student athletes said they are hoping for a new facility, as many other universities are gaining new facilities as well.
The committee hopes the university will make a decision soon for future renovations or the possibility of an off-site facility.
“It was a great experience being part of this committee, the committee worked really hard and I enjoyed being on it and trying to better the Webster community,” Mulhearn said.
From my understanding, this is a very critical need. If Webster wants to recruit student athletes that perform at high levels and are passionate about their sport, the school needs to provide enticing facilities. Go Loks!
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