Josh Eversole, Marketing Intern
In SEC (South Eastern Conference) country, sports are king. Unfortunately, many high school athletes are not fortunate enough to play in big time college athletics. This was especially true for me. I was an average player in a sport with little varsity representation. Club sports gave me an opportunity to continue playing the sport I loved, rugby.
Club sports are University of Kentucky (UK) sponsored clubs that are operated by students. These clubs offer the opportunity to compete against other colleges in their sport. No matter what your favorite sport is, or what sport you want to try, here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help you learn about club sports.
How do club sports differ from varsity and intramurals?
Varsity sports are governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Club sports teams are governed by the Campus Recreation department of their university or by a national, sport-specific, governing body (i.e. USA Rugby).
Club sports and intramurals differ in the amount of freedom offered to the students. Club sports teams have the ability to create their own schedules, recruit and travel. Intramural teams are also comprised of students, but their competition is limited to other students within their university and offer less diverse choices in activities offered.
Who can play club sports and how do I find the sport for me?
At UK, the club sports program allows students, faculty and staff the opportunity to play. UK offers a large variety of club sports from which to choose. The list of current clubs can be found at: www.uky.edu/studentaffairs/CampusRec/club-sports/current-clubs.
Can I start a club sport that isn’t offered?
The University of Kentucky encourages students to form their own clubs. The process is outlined on the Campus Recreation website: getinvolved.uky.edu/register/
Can I play a sport that I have never played before?
Many club sports encourage students to participate in sports they have never tried before, especially if it is a sport that is less prevalent in many schools (i.e. water polo, dodge ball). Some clubs require try outs, and will be straightforward in the recruitment and information periods on whether or not they are required. For information about requirements to join a club, check the contact information here: http://www.uky.edu/studentaffairs/CampusRec/club-sports/current-clubs
Are club sports expensive?
Club sports are student run and operated and will incur expenses in order to make sure that they are able to properly function. Most clubs require you to pay dues in order to participate, but are usually very affordable and offer discounted dues for first year participants. Contact the club you are interested in for more information about dues as they differ from club to club.
Do you travel with club sports and are there games during the week?
Club sports teams usually schedule their activities for weekends and save weekdays for practice. Your team will travel to other universities or locations for games, matches, tournaments, etc. You will be encouraged by your team to attend these events, but it is not mandatory that you travel every weekend. Travel also varies depending on the club.
What are the benefits of playing club sports?
Joining a club sport gives you the opportunity to meet a new group of people with similar interests to yourself. Moving away from home can be scary, but placing yourself in a group that you can relate to can make it a more comfortable experience. Not only will your teammates share your interest in the sport, but expose you to a wide variety of different backgrounds and beliefs. Club sports offer you the opportunity to expand your horizons and learn more than just the game.
Finally, you will meet lifelong friends and gain memories that will last a lifetime. Through my club sports experience, I met some of my best friends and was able to travel across the country competing against other great universities. I encourage all students to join a club sports team. Not only will you have an amazing experience, but also you will learn valuable life skills and contribute to your organization and represent your university.