Club Teams Gain Traction as Alternative to Varsity Sports

By  Patrick Stukkie

When it comes to sports here at Grace College most people think of two things, varsity sports and intramurals. Those are the most recognized ones but there are also club teams. Those club teams are Men’s Volleyball (the first club sport), Women’s Lacrosse, and Rugby. A quick summary on what a club team is. A club team is a group of people who come together and want to play a sport. They then go through the staff of the college to get permission.

Club sports are managed by a collaboration of Student affairs and Athletics. Clubs submit a proposed budget to Senate who then agrees to fund a portion of that budget. Other expenses are covered by the athletic department, student affairs, and fundraising. Once the clubs are formed, Coach Heather Johnston specifically works with the student captains to oversee our growing club sports teams.

The two clubs I want to focus on today are the Men’s Volleyball and the Women’s Lacrosse. I spoke to Kevin Freyenberger and Rachel Franklin respectively. First I talked to Kevin about how the volleyball team got started. He said “a guy from my hometown of Kouts, Ind., started the program after playing high school volleyball,” Kevin then joined the team when he came here in 2010. Kevin said throughout his career here at Grace, he has not played many matches because of lack of teams to play, but his favorite moment was: “One of the biggest highlights of our club team was hosting a home tournament last school year. We had three other teams come to Grace as we competed in the OCC and played a lot of volleyball that day.”

The other team is the Women’s Lacrosse team which began last year, started by Rachel Franklin. When asking about getting permission, she had the following to say, “In order to start our club we had to apply to be a club so to speak through student senate. So I had to fill out an application form that talked about the purpose and goals of the club as well as have proof that people would join if it became an official club.” Since the club was just started, Rachel said, “We have had many girls on our team who haven’t played before, so it’s fun just teaching them the game.”

A few of new club sports are also in process, including Ultimate Frisbee, Bowling, and a Bike Club. So get up, get active and join one of our club teams.