Ohio University

Club Sports provides fitness and social outlet throughout pandemic

Club sports at Ohio University invites students to play a variety of sports and meet students with similar interests. There are a total of 32 Club Sports at Ohio University that are student-run organizations. Most teams compete against other universities and are members of conferences or leagues throughout the year. This year, whether students were long-time members of teams or trying out a new sport, Club Sports became a primary way for students to socialize safely and worked to quickly adapt their practices and events to meet health and safety standards. 

Hear from members and leaders of a few of the organizations in the Q&A below!

 

student throwing frisbee
A member of the Men's Ultimate team prepares to throw a frisbee.

What is Men's Ultimate?

Men’s Ultimate is a group of amazing students and friends that share an interest in bettering themselves physically and mentally through the game of Ultimate Frisbee. We go by TROUT, an acronym for The Real Ohio Ultimate Team.

What about Men's Ultimate should draw students in?

What I think should draw students in and what drew me in personally was the instant friendships I had and the brotherhood that lasted for years to come. Joining a club sport is like all the social exposure and friendships of a fraternity or sorority.

What is something that has changed how you approach practice to stay in line with COVID safety directives?

Usually, Ultimate Frisbee is a game of 7 v. 7 when in full; however, due to COVID safety directives we have had to keep our practice numbers under 10 people. This has made us change our practices by focusing more on personal growth and scrimmaging 4 v. 4.

What types of important lessons can someone learn through practicing Men's Ultimate? More specifically, what can someone learn by joining OHIO’s Men's Ultimate team?

An important lesson someone can learn by joining OHIO Men’s Ultimate is that hard work pays off both in game and in life including your studies. Not to mention learning time management skills for the future.

How have you had more interest this year? Is this club sport a good opportunity for engagement with fellow classmates?

Due to COVID and not all students being on campus we haven’t had a good year for recruitment, but if you remove the data from this year we have always been growing in size and interest, so it is definitely a great opportunity to meet and engage with your fellow classmates.

When/where are your practices? How can other students get involved?

TROUT currently practices at Walter Fieldhouse three nights a week. We have already passed our tryouts phase, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late Interested students can reach out to Gabriel Moss about joining our team via email at gm460217@ohio.edu.

 

women's rugby team practicing
Students of the Women's Rugby team practice inside of Walter Fieldhouse.

What is Rugby?

Rugby is a full-contact team sport where 15 people per team work together to score tries and win the game. It is sometimes compared to football and soccer, but it is a completely different type of game. 

What about Rugby should draw students in? 

Rugby draws people in because it’s an interesting sport that isn’t widely known in the United States. I personally never heard of it until I came to Ohio University. It’s a really fun sport that keeps you active and you get to know some pretty cool people.  It is a great outlet to have to take your mind off and have a break from classes.  

What is something that has changed how you approach practice to stay in line with COVID safety directives?

We’re social distancing a lot at practices by working with the ball more than practicing tackles and other contact aspects of the sport. We are also making sure that everything is disinfected and cleaned between practices. 

What types of important lessons can someone learn through practicing Rugby?

You can learn a lot through rugby. It helps you with communication. Rugby is a sport that helps you find your voice; you really do need to speak up on the field. It also helps you be a better teammate and friend. On the field, you have to be there for your team. If you can’t work together you can’t win. 

Joining the team introduces you to a lot of different people from all different backgrounds. I joined the team to find friends and be active, and I got a lot more out of it than that. I found my first friends through the team and was able to remain in good shape, but I also became more extroverted and adventurous. I’m less afraid to take risks and do new things. I’ve never had much confidence, but with my team at my back, I’ve learned a lot about myself. 

How have you had more interest this year? Is this club sport a good opportunity for engagement with fellow classmates?

We have had a few people join the team, and we’re very excited to have them. Of course, we’re always looking for more people to be a part of our team! We love having people that know the game but we also take pride in the building of new players. You don’t have to know anything about the sport to join; we will teach you everything that you need to know.  And yes absolutely, it’s a great way for classmates to get engaged in the Ohio University culture. We do a lot as a team and I think rugby is a great opportunity to be more involved and find a community within Ohio University. It’s a decent sized school, and it’s important to find people that you can hang out with and feel safe around. 

When/where are your practices? How can other students get involved?

We practice at Walter field house (until it gets warmer outside) from 9:15-10:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Students who want to get involved should contact Rachel Wawrzynski at rw165517@ohio.edu or Teagan Richman at tr436517@ohio.edu.

 

Kendo practice in Walter Field House
Kendo Club executive board members Jay Eungha Ryu, left, and Andrew Kasick, right, practice Kendo in Walter Fieldhouse.

Kendo is a modern Japanese martial art developed from samurai sword-fighting. Bamboo swords and protective clothing are used throughout the practice, and even if students have no experience in this form of martial art they are welcome to join Ohio University's Kendo Club. Practices are held in the Walter Fieldhouse, and participating in this sport helps students work on strength and discipline, both mentally and physically. 

Andrew Kasick, pictured above at Kendo practice, is also part of the TKD Club, which is short for Tae Kwon Do. In Korean, tae kwon do means "the way of hand and foot." Tae kwon do is a Korean martial art that focuses primarily on kicking and hand techniques. The OHIO club focuses on tae kwon do more as a martial art (specific skill development) and less on the competitive sparring aspect of the sport (what one would see at the Olympics). They also does a little bit of judo (Japanese martial art) and hapkido (Korean self-defense), but those aspects are on hold as they are more difficult to practice and maintain a safe distance away.

How have you adjusted to COVID safety regulations?

The focus of tae kwon do as a martial art has made adjusting to the COVID safety directives somewhat simpler. We can still learn and practice kicks and hand techniques without a partner. We can also put more emphasis on forms that are a set of techniques put together in a way that could simulate a fight that is generally introduced based on a person's ability or level. Tae Kwon Do Club also normally would practice in Ping but just recently started some in person classes in Walter Fieldhouse where we have plenty of room to spread out and when the weather warms up we will be practicing out at the Mill Street Fields. We also have virtual practices, which we hold with the club at BGSU. The virtual practices are a way for our members to get extra practice in and learn from additional instructors.

What are the benefits of practicing TKD?

By practicing TKD, one can learn some self-defense, self-discipline, and improve their physical and mental health. To become good at TKD, you really need to spend time outside of practice working on your skills and practicing. To progress as a martial artist, you need to show dedication. Ultimately, with lots of practice and determination one can test for promotion (about once a semester) and eventually earn a blackbelt through our club.

What is the TKD community like?

Our TKD Club members become pretty close because of all of our time together and hold gatherings where we hang out and eat good food after promotion tests to celebrate the accomplishments of our members. Hopefully, we will be able to hold these gatherings and celebrate again in person someday soon. We have had a difficult time getting a lot of new interest in TKD especially since the COVID safety directives have limited our ability for in-person practices until more recently. Tae Kwon Do Club is a great place to meet new friends and learn and grow as a person. Currently, our in person practices are Mondays and Thursdays from 7:45-9 p.m. at Walter Fieldhouse. Students can get involved by emailing Amy Lindenberger at al827511@ohio.edu or Andrew Kasick at ak711114@ohio.edu for information on how to join in-person or virtual practices.

 

With so many options, students at OHIO can easily find a club that suits them and their interests as well as opens opportunities for new friendships and maintaining active, healthy lifestyles. Students who are interested can view a list of club sports on Campus Recreation's website