Crew offers scholarships to expand their program

“One of the biggest blockades as far as getting people to join crew has always been money,” said junior Luke Jeske, a captain of the team. “This is an attempt to overcome that.”

The crew team is now offering scholarships that will cover 100 percent of the expenses for the season.

“Right now, we’ve reached the saturation point within the IB program,” said coach Jesse Tate. “It’s time to branch out a little bit and expand the program in traditional.”

The club’s Board of Directors, made up entirely of volunteer parents, decided that the best way to attract new rowers is to find a way to alleviate the high cost. “The idea was brought up among the committee to make crew more accessible, and they decided to try to get a scholarship up and running,” Jeske said.

Without the scholarship, rowers pay approximately $2,000, which goes towards maintaining and storing the equipment, entering regattas and more.

“This year we have a little more operating money so it feels right to give some back,” Tate said. “[Scholarship money] comes from our fundraising over the years, our dues and our remaining money in the budget. Also a lot of outside donors.”

This year, seven students were offered the scholarship, though leadership within the club isn’t sure how many will be offered in the future. These students are chosen through a number of criteria, including academic success, attendance of practices and regattas and a swim test, as well as proof of financial need. The most qualified of these candidates receive the scholarship, which allows them to participate for free as if it were a school sanctioned sport.

“There are definitely some bugs to work out as far as the logistics of it but it’s definitely a great idea,” said Jeske. “A lot of really strong and bright people who deserve these opportunities like crew don’t have the monetary means to do it. This allows them to.”