Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Need for club sports on campus outweighs number of sports

***Disclaimer: This is a sports column that represents the sole opinion of the writer.***

Not every high school athlete is good enough to play in college, and some decide that they do not want to commit to a full-time sport. This is the beauty of club sports.

Many schools offer a plethora of options for students who would like to take a more casual approach to sports, but Plattsburgh State severely lacks in this department.

PSUC does a good job of providing fun intramural sports for students to participate in, but those are run unprofessionally and many games often end in forfeit due to lack of communication for game times.

Intramurals are the most casual type of competition. Many students enjoy intramurals, but at the same time wish there was a higher level of competition available at Plattsburgh, this is the void that club sports are supposed to fill.

Club sports are solid competition but don’t require the commitment you see from a Division III team, such as early-morning practices, daily workouts, required library hours and an array of other requirements.

PSUC offers some interesting club sports that are less common Division III sports, such as cycling, Frisbee, martial arts, and rugby. This is awesome for students who want to try something new or continue with a passion they have had since they were younger, but there is a dearth of more common club sports.

Many students who still carry a strong passion for a sport are left with no way to truly compete. Sophomore Brian Berran is currently trying to bring club lacrosse to campus. In their first open meeting the potential club held, an SA requirement, they had over 60 students show up, so it is obvious there is a market there for more common sports on a club level.

PSUC offers six club sports total, but this low number is not typical throughout SUNY campuses. For example, Oswego offers 29 club sports and Cortland offers 35. PSUC has only 11 listed on its website.

PSUC does offer students the chance to start their own club sport, which would seem to make my argument completely pointless and raise the notion that if students wanted more club sports, they would create them. The process in starting a club sport, however, may be the issue behind why there are so few at PSUC.

Club sports teams are required to run through the Student Association. The SA seems to have way too many active organizations outside of club sports to shell out money for expensive equipment, travel and other costs that have to do with a club sports team. This has lead current club sports, such as rugby, to have to sometimes cover their own costs for equipment and travel.

Berran claims that the SA is not completely comfortable with even letting students travel themselves to potential club lacrosse games. “The SA was very iffy about the whole personal travel. And trusting us to travel on our own and stay safe,” Berran said. “They are scared if we get into an accident traveling, what happens to the school and insurance wise.”

Being on a Division III team is a big obligation, and club sports are an alternative for students who love the game, but aren’t willing to make a huge commitment. PSUC needs to reevaluate their current system of running club sports through the SA and give more help to students looking to start their own. Recent action taken by students has shown the pull and the interest is there, so it is up to PSUC to make the next move.

Email Bailey Carlin at bailey.carlin@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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