For incoming freshmen, the idea that CSU actually boasts competitive lacrosse, horse polo and cricket teams could seem cumbersome. Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of club sports.
Actually, CSU has 30 different club sports that more than 1,200 students participate in during the fall and spring semesters, illustrating the growth and success CSU club sports have had in just the last five years.
Twenty-three CSU club sport teams traveled out of state last year to compete at regional and national competitions. The club sports program’s most recent success came from the men’s club lacrosse team, which won the 2003 USLIA National Championship – one of the many awards given out to CSU club sport teams last year.
“Club sports are so much more competitive this year,” said Bill Hill, director of club sports. Hill has been around for almost two decades, playing a major role in the recent growth and success of club sports programs, especially with baseball and softball.
The club ice hockey team is another of the latest success stories, having finished 6th at Nationals in March. Ice hockey has had enough success under President Josh McIntosh in the past few seasons that they were able to rope in Dave Delozier, ex-CU hockey coach, as their new head coach.
“I think Dave will be a great addition to the hockey team,” Hill said.
Delozier is a photojournalist for KUSA-TV in Denver and a weekly columnist for 9News.com. He comes to Fort Collins after coaching CU’s potent offense for the past two years.
“We feel as though we have the potential to be National Champions again,” senior forward Jason Bowers said.
Not only does CSU have highly competitive club sports teams, but it also offers some of the most creative co-ed sports, a rarity in college athletics.
Some of these sports include co-ed rodeo, gymnastics, bowling, alpine ski racing, rugby and flag football. Other club sports include archery, field hockey, soccer, team handball, ultimate Frisbee and even Tae Kwon Do.
Rugby is another one of the club sports that has had recent success after the men’s rugby team won the Santa Barbara Invitational this past spring and senior Kyle Fenton was named a 2003 Honorable Mention All-American.
Club sports coordinator Karri Smith has recently taken over most of club sports coordinating responsibilities for Hill – who announced his resignation as club sports coordinator in June – and said she is excited for all the new activities this fall.
Smith says the main philosophy of club sports is to allow the highly competitive nature of CSU students to create a level of play that involves students in things such as scheduling, budgeting and fundraising.
This is the main difference between club sports and CSU’s NCAA-affiliated programs. The school gives no money to the club sports organizations, demonstrating how hard the students and organizations work to allow funding for the wide variety of club sports.
Students who are interested in getting more information on upcoming club sports schedules can visit the Student Recreation Center, which is holding general meetings throughout the first two weeks of school, beginning Aug. 28.
Here is a list of the 2003-2004 Club Sports:
alpine ski racing, men’s and women’s
field hockey, coed
horse polo, men’s and women’s
lacrosse, men’s and women’s
shotgun sports, men’s and women’s
soccer, men’s and women’s
Tae Kwon Do, coed
tennis, men’s and women’s
ultimate Frisbee, men’s and women’s
volleyball, men’s and women’s
water polo, men’s and women’s