On Thursday, April 7, representatives from each club sport at the University met at the Aquatic & Fitness Center (AFC). Two clubs were recognized for receiving a special award: a grant from the Jefferson Trust. The Jefferson Trust aims “to promote excellence throughout the University of Virginia by providing catalytic support to the University community for initiatives in pursuit of Jeffersonian ideals.”
The Jefferson Trust has not always recognized club sports, according to Director of Intramural & Club Sports Matt O’Connor. They started around 10 years ago, and the AFC was the natural place to hold the ceremony. The two clubs receiving grants this year were Club Rowing and Club Triathlon.
Both clubs plan to use the money to help with the costs of competition. Club Triathlon President Matthew Van de Graaf specifically mentioned expensive registration fees, equipment fees, and travel costs as issues that the award will help address.
Another similarity between the clubs is their emphasis on individual growth and working to improve the community. Van de Graaf mentioned his club’s involvement with community partners and philanthropic organizations. Additionally, Andrew Heinzman, President of Club Rowing, said “Other than competing at the highest level, our goal as a team is to develop ourselves as people through the demands of rowing — something that isn't seen in our race results.”
It is abundantly clear that both clubs are incredibly passionate and dedicated, and according to Heinzman, “This is a validation of the work we do everyday.” Both clubs are thankful and honored to receive a grant from the Jefferson Trust, and there is no doubt Club Triathlon and Club Rowing will continue to be a positive example in Charlottesville.
All of us at UVA Intramural-Recreational Sports would like to say congratulations to the two award recipients and wish all club sports the best of luck as they continue competing this spring!
Michael Rueda is a third-year student in the College and a member of the IM-Rec Sports marketing team.