By Shawn Morris

Staff reporter

Many students on campus participate in at least one sport. As players, athletes tend to only focus on their role on the team.

However, there is a lot that has to happen for the team to function that players don’t often think of. One of these is funding. Without funding, sports teams couldn’t exist.

Southwestern uses what Mike McCoy, athletic director, calls a “zero-based budgeting system.” He described it as a system that provides the athletic teams with the money to purchase the essentials for their season, such as equipment and referees.

If a team requires extra money, then they must rely on either donors or fundraising. Team meals are usually provided by restaurants that the school has a sponsorship deal with.

Softball is one of the teams that participates in fundraising. Softball players have been seen selling baked goods at various events around campus this semester. These provide the money for any expenses not covered by the budget.

Amber Good, head softball coach, has ran the softball team for 15 years. She led the team to a conference championship in 2006.

Good was born and raised in Prague, OK and she attended Union College, where she had a successful career in softball.

Instead of purchasing entire uniforms, the team buys individual parts of the uniform as needed. This saves money for the program, by reducing the total amount spent on uniforms.

Good said, “This time, we just focused on pants. Before each fund raiser, we decide needs to be purchased, and then use the money we raise to purchase that. We have to buy pants more often than jerseys because they get dirtier and worn from all the sliding. A pair of home and away pants can cost about $1400 per player.”

There are 18 players total on the team, so the total amount needed would be $25,200.

Good has experimented with several different types of fundraisers over the years, but the players have enjoyed the bake sale more than the fundraisers in years past, including Hannah Foltz, senior pitcher.

“The bake sale has been my favorite fundraiser by far. It was fun getting to work all together and spend time together. I loved that we were able to organize and work it ourselves, and we were able to see the results first hand,” said Foltz.

According to the players, the bake sale this year improved on several aspects that fundraisers in years past had been lacking. Cady Norton, senior infielder, described some of the fundraisers that softball had done previously.

Three years ago, the team had to get sponsors from back home in order to raise the extra money not covered by the budget. The year after that, the team did an online fundraiser similar to what baseball is doing this year. Last year, Norton said that the team did not participate in any fundraisers.

If the players have their way, then the bake sale will continue to be the main source of fundraising for the program.

Foltz said, “I’m not sure what softball would be like without a fundraiser. I know that if I weren’t a senior this year I would definitely be advocating to do it again next year. I hope to see the team do this fundraiser next year and the years after. It really built a stronger bond between us as a team and we were all able to learn some news things about each other.”

The budget for every sports team varies from year to year, so the amount of money the softball team needs to raise obviously varies. This is one reason the team purchases individual pieces of a uniform at a time rather than the whole uniform. They must focus on the area of most importance, rather than all of the areas that need addressing. Good said, “Usually what we go for is to try to get at least 80% of what we need and then be able to cover the rest by ourselves.”

Good said, “Usually what we go for is to try to get at least 80% of what we need and then be able to cover the rest by ourselves.”

According to Foltz, the sale allows the team to grow closer and help individuals discover traits that might help them in their future careers.

“Fundraising can definitely affect any team’s chemistry. Especially when doing a fundraiser such as a bake sale, it is almost like owning a mini business for a day. But I think that it worked out great because we have some girls on our team who are great organizers, some who are great leaders, and others who are very willing to help out however they can and really buy into the idea of raising money for our team and working together.” She also described how the sale allows the team to grow closer and for individuals to discover traits that might help them in their future careers,” said Foltz