You’ve heard the saying “diving catch in the end zone”. As we neared production time for the Heritage Graphics in 2015 we realized the diving photos were stock art – Not Good. Sammie Sposet and Danny Roberts agreed to “model” for us, and thanks to their dedication (sounds easy – couple of dives, snap snap and done – IT WAS NOT) we have the diving photos next to Bob and Wally. Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat for their “catchy diving in the deep zone”. Here are Sammie’s thoughts on CSU Giving Day, 2017:
To all Viking Alumni and Friends,
My name is Sammie Sposet, a former diver for Cleveland State University. I am reaching out to you as a recent graduate to help give back to the swimming and diving community at Cleveland State during Giving Day 2017. I whole-heartedly believe that your money will be going toward facility updates and equipment that will help engage athletes, push them toward higher goals and make their memorable experience on the team that much more incredible.
Each sport has equipment and amenities that make it unique and that aid to the quality of the athlete’s performance. To most, a pool is a pool and a diving board is a board; if you brag to a softball player about having one of the fastest pools in the country, they may not fully appreciate how phenomenal that is. Tennis players have a tangible racket that “feels right in their hand” or “weighs just the right amount” to start their set off with an ace. Softball and baseball players have bats that fit in their hands properly, bases that are stable and fields that are not only aesthetically pleasing but allow for level ground and quick movement.
Here in the pool, swimmers and divers have their starting blocks, their diving boards and their water- all of which may not have a visible “perfect fit” but they make a significant difference in performance. Before attending Cleveland State University as a Division I NCAA athlete, I participated in club diving at The Robert Busbey Natatorium and fell in love with the facility. Not only was the pool always well maintained, I continuously watched staff and coaches attempt to make improvements and better the program.
Here is where you come in. With any donations you are able to provide, CSU’s swimming and diving program will be able to uphold the legacy of an outstanding facility. Your gracious donation will be used to purchase new starting equipment, training equipment, diving platform re-surfacing and (my personal favorite) new diving boards!
New diving boards are no small triumph; without quality boards to train on, it is difficult to become an excellent diver. Just as other athletes appreciate the grip of their instrument, I appreciate the grip and “ride” of a good board.
One of the somewhat unsettling aspect to diving is that if you do not perform your tricks correctly you could be seriously injured. Having beautiful, strong, reliable boards is something that can give a diver a sense of peace, comfort and additional confidence in their dives. Imagine diving as a similar experience to a Cedar Point trip. When riding on the Mean Streak you are tossed side to side and jarred up and down which makes the experience unpleasant and mildly frightening.
Diving on old boards is similar to such an experience in that less focus goes into the dive and more into making sure the board doesn’t wiggle around or collapse under you. I have competed at various facilities with “Mean Streak” level equipment in which prohibited me from competing to the level I am capable. There are a few pools in our conference in which coaching staff recommends that you not do your most difficult dives so you are not injured in the process. I am fortunate enough to have been able to train on great boards, and hope that many to come will have the same privilege.
As an additional benefit, these boards create an attraction for other club teams looking to rent out our diving facilities. With more club diving teams drawn to CSU, more divers flock to the sport and our community. By creating this attraction, you are indirectly helping to recruit new divers while building legacy within these pool gutters. High school swimmers and divers will look forward to district competitions, just as I did, in the fastest pool with the greatest boards and one of the only tower facilities around. And with Rich Karban, a diving coach dedicated to not only developing diving skills, but more importantly instilling skills to help realize solutions to life challenges long after leaving the pool.
This equipment has many positives and I hope that you will participate in giving day 2017 to support our team as they prepare for the next Horizon League Championship which will be right here in the Busbey Pool.
I personally look forward to giving back and supporting the generations to come. As JFK once said, “My fellow CSU alumni, family and friends, ask not what you can do for your pool, but what your pool can do for you” … or maybe that was me.