The Hull’s guide to navigating club sports

Clara Harrington, Sports Editor

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For many incoming students, the idea of competing in a sport in front of a roaring stadium filled with cheering fans decked out in olive and blue is somewhat daunting.

Although many students are interested in joining a sport, some do not wish to compete at a varsity level in college. Aside from the varsity teams Tulane houses, the school also provides a varied selection of club sports for students to participate in.

Club sports at Tulane are an excellent resource for students who are interested in becoming more involved with the sports community on campus, are looking for opportunities to meet new people or are simply searching for a way to stay active and avoid the Tulane 20.

“There’s definitely a lot of social benefits [of joining a club sport] because you get to connect with friends that have similar interests right away as you get to school,” Miranda Jakubek, President of the Association of Club Sports, said. “And then health benefits of being able to work out and be competitive and stay healthy and active at school.”

With 32 club sports teams available for students, Tulane offers a wide variety of activities that its students can become involved in without the complications that come with varsity level. The Association of Club Sports at Tulane has options ranging from baseball to rugby to capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.

In addition, it allows for students who have never been exposed to a certain sport or activity to try something different and develop new skill sets.

Club sports at Tulane also differ greatly in the level of time commitment required to join. The average amount of time spent practicing and playing for a club team ranges from four to 10 hours per week depending on the sport. While some sports, including mixed martial arts and ballroom dancing, are more relaxed about practice schedules, others require their members to dedicate more time.

“Hockey is pretty time consuming because it takes them an hour to get to where they practice, and then they have a three-hour ice time,” Jakubek said. “I know sports like rugby and soccer and ultimate frisbee are super competitive, so they have three practices a week and then they try to do extra practices and scrimmages on the weekends.”

In addition to the health benefits of joining a new activity, club sports also present students with a new community and serve as a way to meet new people. By having a network of other students sharing the same interest, athletes in club sports broaden their social spheres and become more connected to the Tulane student community as a whole.

“The social benefits for joining a club sport would definitely be meeting new people,” Quidditch president Todd Mathieu said. “The people in club sports are great and make for some of the best friends you can make in college as y’all share in whatever sport you decide to do.”

The club sports department at Tulane is currently working to expand its presence on campus.

Starting this fall, club sports teams will be allowed to practice and play games in Yulman Stadium. By increasing accessibility to games, the department is hoping that this new change will expand the amount of spectators while allowing students and members of the community to become more involved with club sports at Tulane.

“With [playing at Yulman Stadium], I’d like to see the spirit of everybody else on campus go up and have people able to attend these games and cheer on their friends,” Jakubek said.

For students interested in joining a club sport or learning more about individual teams, the Student Activities Expo will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1 on the Lavin-Bernick Center quad.