Club sports provide students with involvement options

The CSU-Pueblo men's club soccer team is the university's largest club sport.
The men’s club soccer team is the CSU-Pueblo’s newest club sport.

Colorado State University-Pueblo students looking for more involvement on campus are only a few pieces of paperwork away.

Currently, CSU-Pueblo plays host to five club sports: rugby, baseball, climbing, racquetball and men’s soccer. All compete in collegiate competitions throughout the year.

Establishing a club sport on campus is a fairly simple, step-by-step process that any student can follow.

To start a new club sport, all that is required of a current student is to submit a registration packet to Director of Student Recreation Jack Krider. The packet should include the type of sport, a list of five student board members who will represent the club and a list of potential participants.

Once approved, the club can then set up meetings, practices and a competition schedule for the upcoming year.

To participate, each athlete must provide proof of insurance, be enrolled in at least six credit hours, sign all liability agreements and maintain a 2.0 GPA throughout the school year.

“It is an incredible program for students to get involved in on campus that can help their overall student experience in many ways,” said Amanda Deml, former assistant director of Student Recreation, Intramural and Club Sports at CSU-Pueblo.

Deml, who now serves as the Intramural Sports Coordinator at the University of Oregon, played a large part in the creation of CSU-Pueblo’s newest club sport, men’s soccer.

The team is currently competing in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Soccer League against schools such as the Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado-Boulder and the University of Wyoming.

“The addition of soccer as a club sport allows people who have stopped playing at the varsity level in both college and high school, talented players, to continue with their careers,” said club president Thomas “TJ” Thiebaut.

The club sport alternative allows athletes to play in a competitive environment with less of a time commitment. Varying by sport, club teams practice two or three times per week compared to more than five practices per week for varsity sports.

“This gives people an opportunity to participate in something they might not get a chance to do otherwise,” Climbing Club Vice President Loren Long said.

Club sports also provide a place for sports that are not recognized at the varsity level such as racquetball.

The CSU-Pueblo men’s racquetball team is arguably the most successful club team at the college.

The team has won 17 national men’s titles since 1996, including nine back-to-back titles from 2004 to 2012, and have recently partnered with the United States Olympic Training Center to provide strength and conditioning training to racquetball players.

Club baseball, rugby and climbing also compete at the collegiate level in their respective conferences. These conferences may mirror the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, where CSU-Pueblo’s 22 intercollegiate sports compete. They may also include schools from different states and divisions, like the University of Wyoming.

“Club sports provide an outlet for student athletes who never had the motivation or incentive to play for the varsity team a chance to truly shine in a fun environment,” Deml said.

This alternative for extracurricular activity is only a small amount of paperwork and a group of enthusiastic athletes away.

More information on current club sports or establishing new ones can be found online at http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/SR/ClubSports/Pages/default.aspx, or by contacting Jack Krider at jack.krider@csupueblo.edu.