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ECU Swim & Dive creates online petition to save program

(WITN)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 5:11 PM EDT
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The ECU Swim and Dive program is creating some noise outside the pool, starting a petition on change.org to help save the program.

Last week, ECU cut four sports programs, including the men's and women's swimming and diving teams. The program is one of the best in ECU history with two national championships, 15 national champions, 47 All-Americans, and 21 conference titles.

ECU Swimming and Diving team members are raising money for their program and hope others will join their cause to keep the teams a part of East Carolina athletics.

According to Ben Barden, one of ECU’s swim team captains, they have raised a little more than $200,000 but have a goal to raise $1.5 million.

Grega Popovic is a former member of the ECU swim team and said, "We're just trying to raise as much money as we can, and show the school that they made a mistake by cutting our program."​

Barden explained he doesn't think the turnaround will happen any time soon, but he does hope these funds help future Pirate Swimmers. "It would be just as special to me if a few years down the road we finally got to that goal and the swim team was able to come back,"​​ he said.

Barden said the amount of money they have already raised is a good sign. "That is an encouraging sign that so many people want to help out this awesome program and keep us going because they see the amazing things were doing."​

Gavrilo Blijden is also a former member of the swim team, and he said the money will also help their coaches. "If they donate for the swimming and diving teams, it will not just be for the swimmers and divers, but it will also help out the coaches that lost their jobs."​

The petition currently has almost 16,000 signatures.

You can donate and/or sign the petition by clicking on the related link to the right of this article.

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