University sport clubs allow competition for any level

Patrick Hayes

If you were a jock in high school and you’re looking to extend your athletic career or just looking for a way to make friends, University sport clubs are the way to go.
Sport clubs are student-run organizations in which the students do everything from recruiting to fund raising. They are outside of the varsity level, but more competitive than intramurals.
And with more than 20 teams for both men and women, sport clubs offer everything from ballroom dancing to rugby.
The club teams compete with other colleges in and out of state and many go on tournaments every year.
Last spring the University’s men’s rugby club took a bus down to Savannah, Ga., for the St. Patrick’s Day tournament. And this spring the team plans to head south to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras tournament.
The team might also head to Milwaukee, Chicago, Kansas City and central Michigan next fall.
Athletes with all experience levels and backgrounds are welcome to give it a try, coach Dave Finkel said.
“If you don’t like it, don’t come back,” said Finkel, who encourages everyone to give rugby a chance.
Another sport on the rise at the University is the men’s lacrosse club. The team competes against other regional collegiate clubs such as Minnesota State, Iowa State and St. Thomas.
The team’s season runs from April to May, but also competes in the fall and winter.
Founded in 1910, the men’s crew club has grown to become one of the strongest programs at the University.
The team has won three national championships and 23 Midwest regional championships.
Crew has both a fall and spring season and competes with other collegiate teams throughout the country, including those in Boston and Philadelphia.
Crew is a physically demanding sport and requires year-round training. Freshman and sophomores are encouraged to try out.
And if you are looking for a laid-back sport, give ultimate Frisbee a try.
The club organizes ultimate Frisbee for all competitive levels. And the club organizes pick-up games and coed tournaments.
In addition to the competitive club teams, the University offers nine instructional clubs, such as judo.
The club teaches both the sport and self-defense aspects of the Japanese art. And it emphasizes throws, holds and grappling techniques.
For more information about sport clubs at the University consult its Web site at www.recsports.umn.edu.