My Freshman year here I made the decision that I was going to try something new, and try out for the Cal Poly Club Rugby team. During the tryouts me and a few of the other guys were just tossing the ball around, and the topic of broken backs came up. In a matter of minutes, three people had come forward and said they had broken their back playing the sport. Upon learning how frequently backs got broken in rugby, and after coming to the decision that I would like to avoid spinal trauma, I proceeded to make my first and last practice one in the same. And that is how the curtain came to a close on not only my illustrious rugby career, but my club sport career as well.
Choosing this topic for our project led to my first interaction with club sports since my rugby days. Not only did I not join any of the other teams, but I befriended a real unathletic bunch of losers, so I never even went to a game nor heard talk of it come up in conversation. I truly could not have come into this project with a blanker slate. But I ended up learning a lot about club sports, and just how big of a deal they are on our campus.
The first interview that we conducted was with Club Sports Council Treasurer, Samantha Baker. From Samantha, we were able to learn about the finances behind club sports. I for one had no idea so much money was involved. I had figured club sports were somewhat akin to joining a YMCA league, I didn’t realize that some of these clubs were competing on a sometimes national level (Which can rack up one H.E. double hockey sticks of a bill). Lauren Arendt somewhat shared a similar sentiment, “Learning about the unique club sports program at Cal Poly, and how far they come each year on a national scale while being nearly 100% student run was yet another really amazing experience to learn about outlets for students at Cal Poly.”
The second interview we conducted was with Club Sports Council VP and next years President, Hunter Helfgott. Hunter had a very interesting perspective on club sports because he doesn’t only serve on the Club Sports Council, but he is also a member of the sailing team. So in addition to telling us about the direction which the council has been moving towards and their goals for next year, he also filled us in on how club sports can be a good source of community. “We have social events, team bbqs, team movie nights, different kinds of things. Sometimes people aren’t the most competitive sailors, and they just want to hang out.” Anna George noticed this theme a number of times stating, “It seems like a lot of people found their families through Cal Poly club sports.”
And finally, the third interview we conducted was with the Club Sports President, Venus Tran. Venus was also a member of the women’s club basketball team on campus. Since that is a relatively new team she was able to fill us in on the process of actually becoming a club sport. It also was interesting to hear why she got into club sports. Essentially she had hoped to get recruited somewhere, and when that didn’t pan out this seemed like the next best option. And since I have written every other paragraph in the exact same style, I will bring this one home with an extremely applicable quote by one of my other group members as well. Jason Amberg said, “Getting to keep playing competitive sports means a lot to a lot of people, and club sports is a perfect way to keep going.”
And there you go. That’s our bit on club sports.