Athletes turn out to support budget increases

Jason Prager

A panel of seven club sports presidents presented a plan Thursday to increase funding for club sports by more than 100 percent to pay for rising transportation costs, a part-time trainer and other general needs.

The plan, called the 2005 Club Sports Funding Initiative, calls for an increase in the club sports budget from $92,297 to $204,047. About 25 students and club athletes attended Thursday’s meeting.

“This is an initiative where we will work cooperatively with the university to facilitate these changes,” said Alex Lurie, Associated Student Government student services vice president, who also served on the panel. “We have a great lack of resources.”

The plan calls for an increase of $49,500 for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by athletes, such as equipment purchases.

Daniel McDonell, co-chairman of the panel, said there is also a need for a $52,250 increase for transportation.

“About half of our budget goes to transportation,” said McDonell, a Weinberg senior.

McDonell also explained the need for a full-time trainer to work in the club sports program. He said the trainer would cost $10,000.

“Our main focus is providing trainers that could be utilized by all teams,” McDonell said. “High-risk sports teams don’t even have trainers.”

Panelists also discussed creating an administrative position only for club sports that would maximize financial and organizational efficiency.

Peter Parcell currently oversees the club sports program, but he also serves as the university athletics recreation administrator.

Several players spoke about the problems their teams have experienced with the shortage of funding.

“We always have a lot of trouble getting to the Midwest regional tournament,” said Christine Tinberg, former president of the women’s rugby team.

Tinberg, a Weinberg senior, said there are no trainers at practices or at games. She also said a lot of injuries could be prevented if they had the money to buy pads.

Jenny Tison, president of the women’s ice hockey team, said ice time for practices and games costs about $200 an hour, and the team must fund raise to meet other basic costs including referee, liability and registration fees.

Lurie, a Communication junior, encouraged athletes and students to express concerns about the lack of funding to friends and administrators.

“This initiative is something to empower a very important community on campus,” Lurie said. “This is a grassroots effort.”

The meeting was one way to increase exposure for club sports’ funding needs, McDonell said.

“The meeting was there to get the word out,” he said. “The biggest thing is that this is a student initiative and we are making students aware of what is happening.”

Edwin Li, another co-chairman of the panel, said the board is very optimistic about receiving the extra funds from the university and was very happy about the turnout.

“The showing tonight was great,” said Li, a Weinberg senior. “This wasn’t mandatory for anyone, and it’s great that people came out.”

Reach Jason Prager at [email protected].