New S.W.E.A.T. Club links athletes to both academics and service

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Photo: Luke Sheidler

The S.W.E.A.T. Club gathers in the main gym for one of their monthly meetings.

Athletes have to break a sweat if they hope to achieve in a sport. Students have to sweat the small stuff if they expect to do well in their academics. And finally, great communities are built and sustained through the sweat on the brows of those who are willing to work for a common goal.

This common goal is what the new S.W.E.A.T. (Students Working with Education and Athletics Together) Club at Fairmont is all about.

The idea for S.W.E.A.T. Club came from its adviser Scott Horcher’s high school years.

“When I went to Dundee-Crown outside of Chicago, my wrestling coach created a club similar to the S.W.E.A.T. Club,” said Horcher, an assistant football coach at Fairmont. “He wanted to build leadership skills, create support and give back to the community.”

Horcher decided to bring these principles of community service and leadership into this new club that is offered to athletes at Fairmont.

“S.W.E.A.T. Club was created to promote school loyalty and encourage the highest level of citizenship,” said Horcher. “These student-athletes have a chance to be a part of something outside of their sport to prepare them for college and life.”

Just weeks old, the club has already attracted the interest of an increasing number of athletes.

“Even though the club is in its early stages, the students are becoming more and more involved by every meeting,” Horcher said.

Members of the club think it’s a positive experience for them and other students.

“Before, each individual sport would get together, without the inclusion of other athletes from other sports,” said senior Evan Bartlett, who runs track at Fairmont. “Now, we have the opportunity to bond together as a whole athletic organization, and that is a great chance to make new friends among other athletes.”

Students are also following the ideas and goals that this club offers.

“My personal goal is to get more involved in the community and become closer with students from other sports,” Bartlett said.

The club does have some challenges in working around the members’ multiple practices and games.

“We understand that if an athlete is in season, it may be tough for them to complete service projects,” Horcher said. “However, we do expect them to give equal commitments to their club and their schoolwork.

Indeed, the advisers of S.W.E.A.T. Club also expect their club members to hit the books.

“A member must maintain a 2.5 GPA or better and play on at least one athletic team,” said Physical Education teacher Tim Cogan, who also advises the club.

This month, the club is planning to start service projects that support both the community and the school.

“By November, we will assist in the craft show at Fairmont,” Horcher said, “and we are planning to adopt a family during the holiday season.”

Bartlett looks forward to seeing the S.W.E.A.T. Club develop this year and in the years to come.

“I feel this club has a lot of potential after it slowly begins,” Bartlett said. “As people begin to understand the goals of the club, it will begin to pick up speed.”