John Catton, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
Although not classified as varsity sports by college administration, members of club sports such as Ultimate Frisbee and Viking Crew must put in just as much time and effort as their varsity counterparts.
“We compete against big name schools such as Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson, and we win against them,” junior Molly Griffin, co-president of Viking Crew, said.
However, having a successful team also comes with its challenges.
“Simply put, our greatest challenge is funding,” sophomore Bella Robbins, Viking Crew co-president said.
All club sports receive their funding as an annual budget from the Student Government Association. However, this leaves many expenses such as registration fees, transportation, food and membership costs the responsibility of the club members themselves.
Ultimate Frisbee last year created a GoFundMe account which raised $1,500, helping pay for their $50 membership IDs with the USA Ultimate Organization, the governing body of the league, as well as food and jerseys.
Viking Crew plans on creating on-campus fundraisers throughout the year.
The expenses of maintaining a rowing team is a challenge for Viking Crew. As of now, only two of their five boats are water-worthy. Also, all Crew members are asked to spend $60 for the official school uniform and $5 to $15 per regatta to help cover costs.
Also, because practices are not mandatory, commitment is a challenge.
“There is a mentality that if I had test tomorrow I wouldn’t be here,” said junior Ultimate player Adekale Ande. “But we make it up somehow, even if it’s playing Dana course.”
For Viking Crew, attendance is crucial because all four members of a boat must be present to practice. An attendance system was instituted that allows only one missed practice.
Viking Crew does not have an official coach and Ultimate Frisbee has a volunteer coach, which add on to the responsibilities of the presidents of the organizations who are not only members of the team, but also share managerial and coaching roles at the same time.
“It is really hard balancing school work and Crew, especially in leadership.” Griffin said.
Despite its challenges, members of club sports enjoy their sports and interest is growing. Viking Crew received 20 new members this year with seven returning members.
“Even though we are not a varsity team, we train and practice just as hard as them,” junior Miles Lally, Ultimate Frisbee captain said. “We train outside of practice and we have goals to compete nationally.”