by Norman Dela Fuente:

Attempting to restore their team for the next semester, Kennedy High School’s swim team members have taken matters into their own hands by doing everything from having a meeting with the principal and athletic director to fundraising.

Starting this year, both water polo and swim are currently no longer a viable sport option at JFK. The swim team needs approximately $3,000 to pay for pool rental fees and referees for the swim meets. Sylmar High School, who would be sharing Humphries pool with JFK, pledged to pay for half of that amount if the swim team can raise the other $1,500. After a brainstorming session with Mr. Thomason, a social studies teacher and former swim coach, the team members have decided on what they hope is an effective method to raise money.

“With the help of Mr. Thomason, we were able to cooperate to increase school funding as well as helping the student body all together,” stated Mico Abrera, a senior swimmer for JFK’s swim team.

The team is still contemplating whether they are going to merchandise various JFK related clothing such as shirts, sweats, shorts and basic swimming essentials. The team also plans to hold various fundraising events in places like Shakey’s and Panda Express. If approved, the team will officially start selling later this semester.

Just recently, the swim team had a meeting with Principal Blake, principal, and athletic director Mr. Kanemura. During the meeting, the team members and their parents were able to discuss the issues that were stopping the swim and water polo programs. The principal and parents, with the cooperation of team members, have developed a game plan to get the swim team back.

Each year the school district slashes the school budget, starting with laying off teachers, and now targeting the sports programs. The pool related programs such as swim and water polo were the first to be taken out because of the large expenses, since Kennedy does not have a swimming pool on campus. This means the school must spend extra for pool rentals and bussing.

Despite the odds, team members have high hopes for getting their sport back.

“I’m going to tell you bluntly right now,” said Abrera, “we are having swim this year.”