Clubs become club sports

Jake Tapley

The variety of clubs at USI is constantly growing and expanding, much like the school itself. Some clubs, that are physically active in nature, seek additional liberties and funding. To meet these needs, the club may try to qualify as a club sport.

On the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center’s (RFWC) page of USI’s website, club sports is defined as “recognized student organizations that exist to promote and develop interest in a particular sport or activity.”

Quite recently, lacrosse became the newest club to be rendered a club sport.

“This process requires much more than the snap of a finger,” said Scott Wood, club sports adviser and program coordinator.

There are many areas that must be discussed and expectations that must be met before any club is granted the title of club sport.

First, they must talk to Student Development and get recognized as an organization before they meet with the panel to see if they qualify. This means they must advertise their club (or get enough people interested) and get a club counselor, as well.

Once they have done all of that, they will be eligible to meet with the club sports panel to see if they qualify. There are basic guidelines such as having a knowledgeable coach, a facility to practice, and someone who is First Aid/CPR certified (a team medic).

“But it all comes down to interest,” said David Enzler, RFWC director. Enzler is also involved in the determining of club sports at USI and knows how vital student interest is to an organization’s success.

“Students don’t understand the process,” Enzler said. “They underestimate the amount of work it takes.”

Students must do research into the schools they would compete against and the overall interest level associated with their club, Enzler said.

Wood said it’s crucial for student involvement in club sports.

“At USI, the clubs are basically ran by the students,” said Wood. “This shows off our university’s student leadership.”

Wood said leadership is a key element to maintaining a club sport.

“When the seniors leave, what happens?” said Wood. “Who will step up?”

These are some of the questions that students must consider in order to effectively run and maintain a club.

Another new club to campus, the Quidditch Club, is in this transitory process of figuring out who they are as a club.

“We met with club sports at the beginning of the year, as we were still figuring out how to define ourselves within a university,” said club captain, Amber Seibert.

Seibert said as of now, they are only a student organization, but this could be subject to change in the non-definitive future.

“My goal for the team is to set it up so that it runs smoothly after I graduate,” Seibert said.