Club Sports, NCAA, Sports

Club sports create community at BU

Boston University hosts 36 different club sports, providing students with an opportunity to play almost any sport they could hope to. From mainstream options like hockey and baseball to more niche ones like cricket and kendo, anyone can find a sport they are interested in.

A Boston University Ultimate frisbee player tosses the frisbee. BU hosts 36 different club sports. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRYAN ZHANG

While playing a club sport is a good way to stay active, another big draw is the community they foster within each team.

“It’s a great way to connect with people and have this whole community at BU,” said Sage Fuller, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. “[Since] BU is such a big school, having this small group of 30 to 40 people that you see a few times a week and you can say ‘Hi’ to on the streets [is] the whole idea of it.”

Fuller joined the Ultimate frisbee team her freshman year. She had played throughout middle and high school, so she knew she was going to play in college as well. However, prior experience is not a prerequisite for joining the team.

“We have [had] people who have never played before join the team, and they’re like, ‘I was so scared, but now I love it’ as they’re graduating,” Fuller said.

Ultimate is a team sport, but the more individual sports still offer the same sense of collectiveness. BU offers many options of both types, but the solidarity of being on a team applies to all of them.

“I always was a fan of a team sport environment, and that was something that was missing from figure skating for me, so I did it out of my love for the sport,” said Kaleigh Wyers, a senior in the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development.

Similar to Fuller with ultimate frisbee, Wyers has been skating for much of her life. She began at the age of seven, but it was not until she came to BU that she felt like skating made her a part of a community.

“It’s such a unique game where everyone comes together with one job, and you work together to fulfill those jobs,” she continued. “We all respect each other for those roles we play on the team, acknowledging that everyone plays a part in our success no matter what level or what person.”

Wyers transferred to BU after her sophomore year, and being on the figure skating team helped her connect with a group of people quickly.

“We spent a lot of time with each other, so it’s inevitable how much we got to know each other,” Wyers said. “It gave me that immediate close community… I feel like I’ve been at BU the whole time.”

Club sports often lead to forming connections with people one would not necessarily meet in classes. It brings people from all grades and majors together to work towards a common goal, and the solidarity applies outside of athletics as well.

“I’ve had friends who are seniors and graduating and they, definitely my freshman year, helped me learn about BU, all the little procedures and signing up for classes and all that stuff,” Fuller said. “It creates this network of helpful … older sister- or brother-type roles in our lives.”

Meeting students from a broad spectrum of the BU population helps familiarize individuals with the scope of the school as a whole. BU has a large student body, but club sports can bring together all kinds of people.

“Coming in as a freshman and meeting 25 people who are all sophomores, freshmen, juniors, seniors, it gives you a whole grasp over college in general,” said Everett Guermont, a sophomore in the College of Engineering. “It’s nice to see the different aspects, especially having people who are different majors.”

Guermont grew up skiing, but not racing. His degree did not offer him enough time to compete in rowing like he had in high school, so he joined the ski racing team to do something fun.

Club sports also deepen one’s connection to BU beyond befriending other students. Playing teams from other schools as a Terrier helps create a sense of school spirit. Fourteen clubs went to nationals in their respective leagues just in the last semester.

While these teams allow students to be as competitive as they want to be, they are not necessarily so cutthroat or stressful that they lose the club sport sentiment or sense of enjoyment. For example, ultimate frisbee is mostly self-refereed and maintains the cross-school camaraderie reminiscent of high school competition.

“We play in the DI bracket, but even after a DI game, you’re still high-fiving the other team, it’s a really good sportsmanship-type sport,” Fuller said. “In the majority of games, we don’t have refs … so it takes a lot of integrity and responsibility.”

Joining club sports has a lot of value, particularly for freshmen looking to get involved in BU activities and find a group of friends.

“Sign up for as many teams as you can, even if you just have a little bit of interest in it,” Guermont said. “You don’t have to go to all the meetings, but having the opportunity to go is great.”

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