The UP Varsity Swim Team (UPVST) is the official representative of the University to the UAAP Swimming Competitions. The UPVST prides itself in being the most successful UP varsity team in terms of UAAP championships. Since its inception in 1938, the UPVST has won 35 titles, 17 by the men’s team, and 18 by the women’s. Our last championship was a double, in 2013. Succeeding years have seen us in 1st and 2nd runners up finishes. The UPVST has been a consistent podium finisher. We aspire always for the top spot on the victory stand. In addition to UAAP competitions, the UPVST also participates in the University Games as well as monthly G-League competitions.
We also take pride in having among us 3 Olympians and countless athletes who have represented the country in other international competitions, including the ASEAN University Games and South East Asian Games.
Needless to say, all this success has not come easy. The team trains year round, 5-6 days a week, and when in UAAP season (1st semester), twice a day. We swim about 10,000-11,000 meters (10-11 km) per week in the pool. In addition, the team also follows a rigorous and intensive land training program, which includes strength and conditioning. We go about all of this alongside our academics and other responsibilities and obligations.
During the UAAP Season, a swimmer's typical day is something one could call a crazy and even anti-social schedule: Here’s a sample:
5:30 – WAKE UP ALARM (though the chilling water is really what does the trick!)
6-7:30 am – swim workout, 4.5 km
8-4:00 – classes, group meetings, sleep in between classes…
4:30-7:30 – swim workout, 6.5 km
8:00 onwards – dinner, homework, studies, etc.
On alternating days, we hit the pavement with dry land workouts – running around the academic oval and working with training gear and equipment.
During the “off season” (i.e., non UAAP semester), our training load is lessened, to give us time to catch up on our academics and to work on fund raising projects and socio-civic activities. Load is lessened but training never stops, including during semestral, summer or mid-year and Christmas breaks. In UPVST, we’re not only trained to be great swimmers, but also to be socially aware and well-rounded Iskolar ng Bayan.
The team is currently comprised of 70 resident members, coming from all over the country and even as far as the U.K. and the U.S. Our swimmers cover a wide array of academic disciplines. The team’s motto is “ONE TEAM.” It is in the spirit of oneness that we are able to hurdle challenges that come our way – from the burdens of enrollment, to the challenges in academics and our rigorous training program. We rely heavily on each other, on our lane buddies, our batch mates and upperclassmen, our coaches, our parents and our alumni to help us with our needs and to draw strength from. This is the tradition, essence and core of the UPVST. Working together, as one ONE TEAM, ONE FAMILY towards ONE DREAM.