Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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The challenges and rewards of bringing a club sport to campus

Christian Sopkowiak/Winonan

Every club sport is different, whether that sport is rugby, baseball or ultimate Frisbee.

However, the process that is required to create these club sports is universal.

Tracy Rahim, the associate director of student activities and leadership, said, “They will find at least ten members, a faculty/staff adviser, membership roster, a constitution, and they will then fill out an online form for the senate to review.”

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Creating a club sport is a simple yet daunting process that follows a systematic structure.

Getting the club sport approved is only the start of the overall process.

“With our athletic spaces between the gymnasiums and the field house, club sports have to work with Adrian Shepard to try to seek out practice space on campus,” Rahim said. “If we do not have appropriate space on campus, he will get them in contact with organizations off campus to see what they can use for space.”

Adrian Shepard, Director of the Integrated Wellness Complex, deals with the club sports’ practice spaces.

“Some clubs practice off campus and would prefer to be on campus,” said Shepard. “However, in these cases they’re usually better off to keep using the space they found in the community, since they are guaranteed consistency and a time that they prefer.”

Recruitment is another facet of the birth of a club. Usually, club sports will advertise and network through the club fair and through word-of-mouth. Most of the clubs do not require previous experience. The sports that can be taught usually welcome whoever is interested.

Finding competition and how to play is the final piece of the puzzle for creating a club sport.

“This [competition] differs from club to club. Often times it is dependent upon the club’s scope pertaining to level of competition,” Shepard said.

According to Shepard, if the club sport is an internal competition between the members, they do not need to seek out other competitors. If the club sport is semi-competitive at a local and state level, they will contact local universities. If the club sport is very competitive at a national level, the will contact various associations that help set up competitions.

“WSU is in a good place when it comes to sport clubs. At 28 officially recognized sport clubs we have more than the national average, which is 22,” Shepard said.

Finding places to practice, searching for people to recruit, and unearthing ways to compete can take a lot of time and effort, but according to Rahim and Shepard, it is definitely worth it.

“I am just glad that we can afford opportunities for students that want to participate in some sort of sport, but not necessarily the NCAA side,” Rahim said.

Club sports are more than what they seem on the surface, Shepard said.

“Results from a national benchmarking study by the Leaders in Collegiate Recreation found that 70 percent of sport club participants indicated involvement provided them with life skills they’ll use after college,” Shepard said, “Including teamwork, conflict resolution, communication, confidence, organization, financial management and problem solving.”


Contact Christian at [email protected]

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