The Grand County High School swim team is one of the only activities at the school that does not receive any funding from the school district, despite the fact that the Utah High School Activities Association sanctions the team.
The swim team has existed at the high school for six years, and during that time, members have had to raise all costs personally. Prior to this year, requests to fund the swim team have been brought to the Grand County School Board twice. The school board rejected the proposals both times.
“Ultimately, the school board decides where the funding is provided,” GCHS Principal Stephen Hren said. “We have virtually all the sports and activities sanctioned by [UHSAA] in our school. When swimming came on as a high school sport, even though it is sanctioned by the UHSAA, our local school board has chosen not to fund it.”
At the school board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 17, the topic of funding swim was brought up once again by a board member. After an interview with two writers from the high school newspaper, Board Member Peggy Nissen addressed the possibility of funding. The school board never gave an answer to why funding was rejected. Some board members had concern that if swim were to receive funding, other teams would come forward to ask for funding also, though the only other programs at the school not receiving funding are considered club programs.
“Club programs are not part of [UHSAA], so the school and district does not fund them,” Hren said. “For the ... sanctioned programs, there is a uniform rotation, supply budget and some equipment money.”
The cost of uniforms and supplies falls onto the swimmers to pay for them.
“The team has some equipment for us to use if you don’t want to buy your own,” junior swimmer Isabel Becerra said. “The equipment is sort of falling apart though, so you basically need to buy your own.”
Both head coach Brian Pierce and assistant coach Wendy Young volunteer their time and do not receive pay.