I wanted be a somebody

By Andrea Bundon

Calgary’s reputation as the athletes’ Mecca dates back to the 1988 Olympics. The legacy of facilities and programs is irresistible for any sport aficionado so the vast array of sports clubs on campus shouldn’t be surprising. They range from the recreational to the competitive with nearly every variation in between and offer something for everyone.

The Students’ Union Sports and Leisure Clubs

Popular clubs such as the Ski Club and the Snowboard Club fall under this category. Membership can range from five to over a thousand members and any group sharing a common interest can start one. Although the Ski Club and Snowboarding Club are by far the largest of the bunch, new clubs are formed every day. The Boxing Club was officially sanctioned last week and already they are planning events. Other SU sports clubs include Chinook Martial Arts, the Running Club, the Rodeo Club, and the Student Parachute Club.

The Snowboard Club had a particularly successful booth at this year’s Clubs Week and contrary to popular belief, most members actually do make it to the hill in the morning.

“I think that’s part of the appeal,” said Warren Whittman, Vice-President of the Snowboard Club. “We party hard, but we ride hard too. People are out there to ride.”

With five trips and multiple parties, the Snowboard Club is gearing up for their biggest year yet. They’ve already recruited over 700 members and hope to hit 1,000 by the time the season is in full swing.

Another SU club for those looking for a good time is the new Ultimate Frisbee Club. Although they are only in their second year, this club fielded a team that placed third at last year’s nationals in Barry, Ontario.

“I just started playing about four months ago and I have to say it is the most fun game I’ve ever played,” said Jessica Des Mazes, the club’s Vice-President. “You meet so many people, make so many friends. Everybody is so welcoming. It’s almost a way of life.”

The Ultimate Club offers clinics and scrimmages every Monday and Friday and “totally wants beginners.” They are looking to build a base from which to select both a men’s and a women’s team to send to future national championships as well as providing an opportunity for those who are looking to play recreationally.

The Bike Club is all about planning rides and providing cyclists on campus with the necessary resources.

“We’re really excited to get out and riding which is what we do first and foremost,” said club member Mike Patton. “We’ll be riding until the snow falls and probably afterwards as well.”

Although the Bike Club does include many competitive members, everyone is welcome.

“All we want to do is make cycling more popular than it already is. We’re successful if we’ve done that.”

The Running Club wasn’t as successful in their recruitment at Clubs Week this year (probably due to their incredibly inaccessible location) but they are still looking forward to an active season.

“What we’ve been telling people is that running can be boring and tedious by yourself,” said Matt Cain, the President of the Running Club.

The club runs Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays at 4:15 p.m. starting at the Oval and caters to runners of all levels.

“Most of our members are beginners to intermediate runners. They just want to have fun and stay in shape.”

Campus Rec Clubs

Campus Recreation also offers a wide selection of clubs to those wishing to get active.

“Campus Rec is in there to provide sporting opportunities to the university student,” said Mike Boyles, Supervisor of Recreational Sports. “It was recognized that there were some sports not recognized at the university level but there were students competing at a very high level and they lacked the avenue to pursue their sport.”

Clubs are divided into two categories, the competitive and the recreational.

“[Competitive clubs] are different from our recreational clubs in that they have try-outs and play in a competitive schedule whereas the rec clubs are more instructional,” said Boyles.

The recreational clubs are too numerous to list but include several forms of martial arts and combat sports, racquet sports and water sports.

The competitive clubs on campus are Fast pitch, Baseball, Rugby and Rowing. Although the competitive clubs are not varsity, they are the official teams and use the Dinos name in competition. In some cases they even compete against varsity teams from other universities depending on the league rules specific to their sport. Campus Rec does not provide funding for the clubs nor do the athletes receive scholarships, but they do help with administration and provide services and facilities for the teams.

“Players are playing more for the love of the sport and a willingness to compete,” said Boyles.

The Rowing Club has been

around for a while but this is the first year for competitive coach, Mike Simonson. With extensive experience on the national and international scene, Simonson is looking to bring the club to a new level.

“We’re trying to have an enjoyable time, increase fitness awareness on campus and introduce students to a new sport,” said Simonson.

In order to achieve these goals, the Rowing Club offers three programs.

“The competitive program is designed for people who have rowed in the past and want to compete in the fall. Then there’s the recreational or novice program for those who have rowed a minimal amount but want to increase fitness and skill level and compete against the likes of U of A and U of S,” explained Simonson.

The third program is the “get your feet wet” class to introduce people to the sport.

According to Simonson, rowing is unique in the sense that many national team members started rowing while in university.

For a complete list of campus sports clubs or contact info, visit the SU website at www.su.ucalgary.ca or Campus Rec at www.kin.ucalgary.ca/campusrec.

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