By Loren Rhoades, Assistant News Editor
Thanks to a large interest in club sports during engage week, OBU now has seven prospective clubs to add to their list.
These clubs include bass fishing, tennis, disc golf, ultimate frisbee, men’s lacrosse and men’s volleyball.
Intramural and club sports coordinator David Gardner said with the club sports program still being in infancy, he was surprised by the number of clubs proposed during the past week.
“Before the year started, my main goal was to really try to make sure that I had all the people that were a part of active clubs completely solid and in the recruiting process,” Gardner said. “I wasn’t going to focus too much on new clubs, maybe one or two but the interest has been so big that I will help out more.”
Of the seven clubs proposed, four will soon to chosen to become active this school year. Each club will go through a specific process of getting started.
The beginning stages are to first identify leadership and to form each club based on a co-chair system.
After co-chairs have been chosen, they will then write a constitution.
“Once they write the constitution, they will form it however they want to see the vision of the club move,” Gardner said, “All club sports are student-run and I am just there to help that process.”
Once the constitution is written, each club will have a senator from SGA sponsor a bill to promote them as a club and it will go up for a vote amongst the SGA members.
After the new clubs are passed as legitimate clubs, they will be able to start scheduling events for the spring semester to compete against other universities or sports leagues.
Each club also will find a faculty sponsor for their specific sport. Sponsors are required to attend one practice or game each semester.
They also help with any scheduling or financial questions that the club’s leadership might have.
Director of International Student Services Joy Carl is the faculty sponsor for the men’s club soccer.
She said that each sponsor is just who the athletes are accountable to as a club and that the largest responsibility lies on each club’s co-chairs when it comes to making sure everyone attends practices and that games are scheduled.
Senior criminal justice major Sydney Howard has been in a leadership role in women’s volleyball since her freshman year, and she said the responsibility given to her made an impact on who she is.
“Because of club sports, I have really grown into my leadership qualities,” Howard said. “I never really considered myself a leader and not really a follower either. I just didn’t think I could be someone that could be in charge of people and negate different things. I think I have found a part of myself that I didn’t know I was capable of before.”
Gardner’s goal for club sports is to make them strong and established, in order for student like Howard to gain something from each club. “My goal would not be to keep adding clubs every year,” Gardner said. “I’m more worried about quality as opposed to quantity. I want to make these clubs the best they can be and to show these students that have a support system.”
Club sports allows students to be a part of something outside of academics and gives them an opportunity to compete in a sport without being an extreme commitment.
“The major benefit of club sports is that it gives an opportunity to the students not playing at the varsity level to have a chance to play a sport that they are passionate about, and to be able to do it at a level that is still going to be competitive for them,” Carl said.