For a large percentage of campus, ISU’s Sport Club program is a hidden gem. Many are unaware students have the opportunity to engage in intercollegiate competition as a way to stay fit, make friends, and gain leadership experience.
There are 30 sport clubs, all established and run by students through Campus Recreation. Some have been in existence since the 1960s and 1970s, according to Campus Recreation Associate Director Mary O’Mahoney.
Options range from common sports such as baseball, volleyball, and basketball to ultimate disc, equestrian, lacrosse, fencing, and rugby. Each club has a national governing body that dictates rules and eligibility, with a collegiate club national championship as the ultimate goal. Dues are paid, practices are part of the semester, and fundraising is done to cover travel expenses.
“These students have all the rigor of classes and most have part-time jobs. They have to really be dedicated to their sport,” O’Mahoney said. “Many choose to participate so they can wear ISU across their chests” as university representatives.
There is much to be proud of, as several sport clubs consistently win at the regional or national level. This is true despite the fact no experience is required to join many of the clubs and not all have coaches formally involved. The dedication and hard work creates memories that last a lifetime.
“I firmly believe that students who participate in sport clubs claim that as their affinity to the University,” said O’Mahoney, who is building rosters of past members. If you were involved in a sport club, contact her at (309) 438-5373 or mcomaho@IllinoisState.edu. An online form can be completed at Alumni.IllinoisState.edu/SportClubs.
Learn more about the current teams at CampusRecreation.IllinoisState.edu and click on the Sport Clubs link. To provide financial support, use the envelope enclosed in this issue, call (309) 438-8041, or contribute online at IllinoisState.edu/Giving.