By Haley Thierry
Youngstown State University club sports offer competitive sport opportunities for all students.
Kiah Powell, graduate assistant of competitive sports and summer camps, said club sports are available for any undergraduate and graduate full-time students.
“That sports community is incredible like, you gain friendships, you learn how to go through adversity, time management, like there’s so many skills you learn through sports,” Powell said.
Club sports at YSU include men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball, men’s lacrosse, men’s baseball, men’s golf and women’s rugby. Coed sports include bowling, clay target, equestrian, archery, fencing, gymnastics, bass fishing, barbel, hip-hop dance, tennis and ultimate frisbee.
Club sports are working to get a women’s softball club and men’s basketball club running for the fall semester. Unlike intramural sports, club sports practice weekly.
Each club sport is a part of a league called National Governing Bodies. Each league creates a schedule for the teams in the sport and plays through that schedule, usually on weekends.
Fiona Lally, vice president of the Club Sports Executive Board and treasurer of the women’s soccer club, said club sports are a step between intramurals and the varsity level.
“We’re able to travel and have those same experiences while also not having a huge commitment and practice three times a week,” Lally said.
The women’s club sport soccer team competes against bigger universities such as University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University, University of Pittsburgh and The Ohio State University.
Jacob Stack, president of the Club Sports Executive Board and vice president of the baseball club, said club sports give students the opportunity to play the sport they like at a higher level than recreational and intramural.
“It’s still competitive. It’s still everybody going and doing what they want to do. But it gives us the freedom to kind of, more so run it as students and play other schools,” Stack said.
According to Powell, club sports offer a club housing experience scholarship for 30 freshmen or sophomores who live on campus.
Students must be an active participant of a club and complete five community service hours with Campus Recreation to qualify. The scholarship offers $1000 per semester for housing needs, and applications are accepted each December.
Powell said she loves club sports because she can meet new people and gain a lot of skills while being a part of the sports community.
“As an alumni you can be a coach for that specific club. So say we had a senior in a club and they graduated, and became an alumni, they could coach that club but they could no longer participate as a player,” Powell said.
Lally said they’ve met their closest friends through club sports and built a good connection with their team.
“I’ve made some of the greatest relationships, and I think it’s a great place to keep playing soccer, but also meet people you wouldn’t meet otherwise,” Lally said.
Stack explained how he built strong bonds with the friends he made through his club sport and that it’s brought people with different backgrounds together.
“My favorite part about club sports is just the fact that I got to meet all these guys. It’s people I probably wouldn’t have met at YSU if it weren’t for club baseball,” Stack said.
Students interested in joining a club sport, can contact and meet with the president or vice president of those clubs, and learn if they have an opening on the roster. For more information, contact Powell or visit the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center website.