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Override the policy stating a club team cannot be formed if the sport already exists at the varsity level for gymnastics

This petition made change with 432 supporters!


West Chester is one of the only schools to have a rule against creating new club teams if they already appear at the intercollegiate level. The policy was put in place due to an issue with Woman's Club Lacrosse. While that said team still exists, as it was "grandfathered" in, a rule generalizing all other varsity level sports was created. It has been said that the policy was to protect NCAA eligibility, and that there is not enough room, staff, or funding for the duplicate sports. NCAA does not have a rule against the creation of a club, or a varsity athlete participating in one. However, if a varsity athlete wishes to compete at both the intercollegiate and club level, they must report their time as a club athlete to the NCAA. Practice space is not an issue, either. While the varsity team is not practicing, the south campus gymnasium is empty. If the coach would prefer the club team not to use that gym, there are plenty of local clubs that host open gyms multiple times a week, which is perfect for a practice. Like every other new club, gymnastics would raise their own money to fund, and find their own volunteering coach/advisor. Ten athletes are needed to form a team, and within the first semester I have already found eleven, with much promise that more would be interested. Nicole Schwerner and myself have looked into everything needed for the formation of a team and have found solutions to every issue proposed by the Recreation Staff in their emails responding to our team proposals. Gymnastics is not the only sport being denied a club. Tennis, baseball, and basketball are among the others. Sometimes, varsity level sports are not an option for a student. Whether it's the commitment, an injury, a full roster, or any other problem that prevents an athlete from participating at the intercollegiate level, that shouldn't mean their career has to end. Club sports are made so that students can participate in their favorite sport if NCAA isn't a possibility. We've gotten suggestions to join the varsity team, or a different club, but neither is entirely possible. There are a number of steps to be taken in preparation to participate in varsity gymnastics. It's a very different process from any other sport. Most gymnasts are forced to retire by the early age of 18 due to their bodies not being able to handle it anymore. Those of us that are still lucky enough to be in this sport want nothing more than to be involved for as long as we can. Each of our potential members has been involved in gymnastics since they were 3-5. Fifteen years is too long of a time to be in a sport and suddenly have it taken away. For most of us, this is the only sport we've ever known and any other club would not suit us well. We don't want to lose what's always been a part of our lives. An athlete's love of a sport shouldn't have to die just because of an outdated policy. No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them. This is our dream, and we will fight for it. Please help us create our team by signing the petition! There is power in numbers.

 

"Change and reform was never brought about by being complacent and idle. You have to fight for what you believe in, and fight for what is right." -RICG"



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