After multiple complications with the University, Longhorn Powerlifting currently does not have enough funds for equipment or getting to this year’s national competition.
The team held practice at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium before their weight room was shut down in the spring. Due to space constraints and time conflicts, RecSports didn’t work out as a practice facility, either.
“Since this was last minute, RecSports was unable to accommodate us, so we were forced to relocate to an off-campus facility,” said Everardo Araujo, biomedical engineering junior and Longhorn Powerlifting vice president.
Ignite Fitnez, a gym located in South Austin, partnered with the team and offered them a discounted gym membership. However, the additional cost of the membership greatly impacted the team.
“This year, the team is unable to pay for every member’s expense to the national meet since it’s out of state and because of our increase in spending with Ignite,” Araujo said.
The team must raise $5000 before the Collegiate Nationals at Ohio State University in April. Almost half will go toward equipment and the rest will be for travel.
“We are currently involved in the HornRaiser fundraising campaign, where we set our goal to be done in a matter of 30 days,” said Trevor Carmona, applied movement science sophomore and Longhorn Powerlifting historian. “We will also raise money through restaurant profit shares, merchandise sales and, in the spring semester, the UT 40 for 40.”
Araujo said other schools, such as UTSA and Texas A&M, already have their own equipment, so they do not face these obstacles.
“The investment had to occur to UT powerlifting someday, it was just unfortunate that it was forced upon us rather than (imposed as) a gradual and ready change,” Araujo said.
Araujo also said it was an obstacle to motivate current members to fundraise, but that the team dynamic encouraged greater participation in their fundraising efforts.
“The team is doing really well at dealing with the adversity,” said Macy Smith, interpersonal communication freshman and Longhorn Powerlifting member. “It’s been a blessing to have such a supportive climate through the struggles.”
Carmona said Longhorn Powerlifting has supplemented his experience at UT by providing him with teammates who he now considers family.
“We hope to continue to grow the Longhorn Powerlifting team, and through our successes we hope to grow the sport of powerlifting as a whole,” Carmona said.