New Tuesday and therefore a new slamstox-athlete and university in the spotlight! This week we are talking about swimmer Kristy Nagtzaam, she is now going through life as a student-athlete at St. Francis College.
In January this year, she left for the States to get the most out of her school and sports career. At the age of 15, Kristy started training at PSV Swimming after she won several regional championships in Roosendaal.
Now she is part of the swimming team of St. Francis Bulldogs. There, Kristy swims in America’s top division in the Northeastern Conference. She lives, sports and studies in Brooklyn, New York. Awesome right! As she described on Instagram before, ‘swapped tulips for skylines’. You go girl!
Earlier this year, when we asked Kristy why she chose St Francis College, she said the following:
‘I chose this university because of the good connection I felt with the coach and the program. Besides, I think New York is a great place to combine sports and studies.”
Would you like to learn more about Kristy University in Brooklyn? Keep reading!
St. Francis College is a private university founded in 1859. At the time it started as a boys’ school and the number of students and employees was very low. Today there are 3000 students at the university and about 370 employees. So still not much for American standards, but regular numbers for a private university.
St. Francis College is located in Brooklyn, one of New York’s five boroughs. The campus is located downtown on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights. So it is an ‘Urban College’, how cool! The university consists of five different buildings: the Administration building, the Frank and Mary Macchiarola Academic Center, the Generoso Pope Athletic Complex, the Science and Technology Building and The Student Services Building.
Because the campus is located in the middle of the city, many of the city’s attractions are close by, such as the Brooklyn Bridge Park (you can see it in the picture below) and the Brooklyn Borough Hall. One block away is Montague Street with many restaurants and cafes. Because the university is located in the middle of the city, there are no specific student dorms on location, so students live all over the city.
St Francis College organizes fun activities for new and existing students. For example, ‘Terrier Tuesday’ has become a famous event at the university. All new students are welcomed with a nice party in which all kinds of activities are organized. But Terrier Tuesday is not the only event of the year, the Student Government Association works with various parties to make it fun for students throughout the year.
Because St. Francis College is located in the city, the sports facilities for the Terriers are often in other locations. For example, the soccer field, indoor and outdoor athletics track, golf course and tennis park can be found at various locations in the area.
An important building for the St. Francis Athletic Teams is the Generoso Pope Athletic Center, it is a collective building where various sports are held. The Daniel lunch Gymnasium can be found, where the basketball matches are held. But also the Aquatics Center, where the water polo, swimming and diving teams train and do competitions. So that’s including Kristy! The picture below shows the training facility of the Terriers.
Want to see more of the campus? Check this link for a campus tour!
The ‘Terriers’ is how the student-athletes are called at St. Francis College. The Terriers consist of a total of 19 teams, 9 of which are men’s and 10 women’s sports. The women practice one sport that the men do not: bowling! A sport that we don’t often see at universities.
The Terriers compete in the top division of college sports, Division I. Most teams compete in the Northeastern Conference. Only the water polo teams participate within the CWPA and MAAC. The university’s mascot is ‘Terrier’, the mascot has been part of the athletic program since 1933! The Terriers’ college colors are blue and red!
The Terriers haven’t had an American Football team since 1935. Baseball and softball also stopped in 2006, which was replaced by the Women’s Bowling Team. It was recently announced that a new sport will be added from the 2021/2022 school year: Men’s Volleyball! A female volleyball team has been around for a long time, a men’s team is now being added.
Irma Garcia has been the Athletic Director of St. Francis College since 2007. When she was hired as director in 2007, she became the first female Athletic Director of South American descent in Division I. Irma became Division I Director of the Year in the 2014/2015 school year, which she won partly because of the great success of the Terriers that year. The men’s soccer team and both basketball teams won the Conference and participated in the NCAA Tournament!
Student-athletes have a very busy schedule for only studying, training and competitions. There is also a lot of traveling to away games or training camps. The swim teams at St. Francis College, of which Kristy is now also a part, made a trip to warm Palm Springs, Florida in 2019. They trained hard, but also had fun. Check the video below to get an impression of the training trips of the Terriers. And um, hopefully another training trip to sunny Florida will be organized soon Kristy ..!
Studying is also done at St. Francis College. As in many other American universities, the range of courses is enormous. To see if your desired course of study is also offered at St. Francis, you can view the school’s study program.
To get started as a student-athlete in the USA, you need a High School diploma. You also have to do various tests, such as the Toefl and the SAT test. Sometimes other admission tests are also requested. Because as a student-athlete, you should not only be serious about your sport, but also with your studies! And when you have that diploma in your pocket, you celebrate it during ‘graduation day’ in style with your fellow students. Just like the former students of St. Francis in the picture below!
Do you want to become a student-athlete in the USA, just like Kristy? Or would you like more information about student-athletes and scholarships? Reach out! We will help you.