Do you want to be the next Katniss Everdeen?
Richmond is adding three new sports clubs, including archery, baseball and track and field.
The additions fit the profile of Richmond's campus: almost one-third of the freshman class is composed of high school sports team captains, according to the class of 2019 student profile.
Club sports give seasoned athletes a chance to continue to play their favorite sport without the commitment of being a Division I athlete. It also gives students an opportunity to learn and participate in a new sport if they would like.
Anyone is welcome to start a club team at Richmond if it is not already one of the 26 sports offered. In order to do so, it would first need to become a recognized student organization on campus, a status achieved by presenting to the Student Development Committee. If approved, it would then be presented to the Sports Club Executive Council.
“When you’re a new student organization, you’re on probation for a year, and you don't receive any funding for that year,” Seth Thomas said. “That probationary period is to make sure that club is doing what they need to do by staying active, and they will be able to continue that.”
Thomas, the assistant director of sports at the Weinstein Recreational and Wellness Center, helps the teams to find practice space, organizes games and assists in anything else that they may need. Emily Dietrick, president of the sports club executive council, acts as a liaison between the sports clubs’ members and Thomas. The council is composed of a representative from each club team.
Dietrick, a member of both the field hockey and soccer clubs, said that the council voted in favor of the return of the three sports in a meeting on Tuesday, March 17.
These three clubs will return to their official status as recognized club sports by Richmond. Lack of members and organizational problems led to the clubs diminishing several years ago.
Sophomore David Painter is one of the co-founders of the new club baseball team. He says that they have about 40 men currently interested in the team.
“There are a lot of guys on campus like me who played baseball their entire lives, but either didn't have the time or weren't necessarily good enough to play Division I,” Painter said. “We have a lot of interest, we just have to harness that interest.”
With 26 active sports clubs and three new ones, students have the opportunity to stay active while getting to know a team.
“Not only does it give you a time to work out as a club and continue the sport that you love, but it gives you a sense of family similar to a sorority since it’s a much smaller group of people,” Dietrick said.
Maddie Bright, founder of the archery club, said that she decided to restart the club in order to share her passion with others on campus.
“I also wanted to find a social niche on campus, centered around something I love doing,” Bright said.
There are three different levels of sports clubs on campus: championship, competitive and recreational. The level determines what sort of competition teams are involved in, if any, and how much funding they are given.
“We are really committed to actually getting strong leadership in place now,” Painter said. “There’s a long term future here to get the club established and have a presence on campus.”
Contact reporter Megan Healy at email@example.com