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created 7 weeks ago by afredman
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1

Thank you all for your time and for allowing me to speak on behalf of club sports. My name is Avery Fredman, and I am the current president of Men’s Club Water Polo.

Our team, like many club sports on campus, fosters a unique dynamic at the intersection of competition and inclusion, and I’d like to share some of my experiences from the past almost four years with you all tonight.

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2

Water Polo was the first club I joined on campus, which began almost in sync with the academic semester. From the beginning, the team provided a sense of certainty at an otherwise challenging time. Although I grew up in St. Louis, I was still faced with an entirely new and unfamiliar situation with what felt like a very small support system. This problem vanished immediately at my first practice; I was almost overwhelmed with advice for adapting to a college lifestyle; how to succeed academically, athletically, and personally. A lot of what I learned came from just watching my older teammates; how they cherished a hard-fought win and coped with a frustrating loss, how they balanced academics with the other tasks and hobbies, and how they applied the traits essential to sports to their professional lives to attain success at high levels.

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3

I’m especially proud of the culture Water Polo and so many other club sports have fostered at WashU. As many teams do, we like to win. Our recent accomplishments include:

​ -Winning our first conference title in a new and potentially more difficult division

-Finishing third at our Division 1 debut at the Division 1 Collegiate Club Water Polo National Championships

-And appearing in the last 9 Division III title games to rate as the most successful collegiate club program in the history of this sport.

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4

At the same time, I am equally if not more proud of the non-competitive aspects of our team. We welcome players of all skills; from players who have previously competed at high levels to players who had never touched a water polo ball before attending their first practice. We encourage our team to remember that scholar comes first in scholar-champion, making academic success a priority and providing support to one another where we can. We treat each other as family, and bond over team dinners, movie nights, interteam-competitions, and more. We challenge each other constantly, never settling for anything less than the best we can be in everything we do.

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5

This team has afforded me countless opportunities; as a student, an athlete, and a leader. I’m thankful for being given the chance to grow in so many ways, and I’m really excited to see the achievements and accomplishments that WashU club sports create in the years to come. Thank you all again for your time, I hope you enjoy the rest of tonight’s meeting.

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