Sport club competitions keep students active

The GT Cycling sport club competes regularly in Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference road, mountain and crit races. / Photo Courtesy of GT Cycling Club

For students who want to stay active through competitive sports, Tech has over thirty different options to choose from through the Sport Club program. Working with the Office of Student Involvement, the program is led primarily by students and provides opportunities to try new sports, gain leadership experience and participate in intercollegiate competitions across the country.

Ken Lovic, the Sport Club Coordinator, works with the teams by helping them to find funding from resources within and outside campus, access their budget, make travel arrangements for competitions and get field space for practice. Lovic assists in every way he can.

“You get what you put into it”

“What makes the Sport Club program different from other Tech athletics is that these students are running every aspect of the team themselves. There isn’t an organization that does this for them, and leadership opportunities come from the fact that they get to oversee and delegate their team’s ,” Lovic said.

GT Water Polo has played in two tournaments so far this semester, placing second at the UGA Spring Classic and beating a local Atlanta masters club Dynamo in overtime.

“We’re one of the most competitive teams in the southeast and I’m very proud of how we’ve been playing this semester. We’re always getting new guys and working them in because you never know when someone’s going to turn out to be a starter one day. You get what you put into it,” said Kevin Hendley, GT Water Polo president.

Women’s water polo is new this year, and interested girls with swimming ability are encouraged to join the training program.
With over 60 active members, Yellow Jacket Archery club has seen a lot of growth in past years. Club membership doubled last semester. Ann Ruengvivatpant, the president of GT Archery, attributes this to the club’s regular participation in regional competitions and in part to a general renewed interest in archery thanks to popular films like the Hunger Games and Brave.
In addition to individual shoots, there are team rounds for representing the school as a group, and special “fail shoots” for setting up papers and exams as target practice.

“It is a competitive sport, but we really help each other and learn from each other. If you have bad form and you can’t see it, you need someone else to point it out and show you how to fix it. We have a big support system here, and when we go to regional competitions it’s a really friendly environment,” Ruengvivatpant said.

The archery club has not been able to use Glenn Field for practice this semester, but in spite of this obstacle they are still active and will be competing this coming weekend against other collegiate teams at the Indoor Nationals tournament in Statesboro, GA. All members who have been in the club for at least a semester or have prior archery experience are encouraged to compete regardless of skill level.

Another sport club, GT Cycling, has also seen an increase in membership and activity. The team participates in many different events like mountain races, road races and criterium short distance courses. Last semester the club acquired a record 25 additional members, the majority of them new to racing.

“We go out really committed, and we push ourselves”

“I’ve always had a bike and I basically just used it for transportation purposes, but one day I just decided that I wanted to get active and get back in shape…so I joined cycling club last January and that’s really where it all started,” said Nathaniel Rowe, president of GT Cycling.

“We have a great team here. Most of our members come in with no more experience than just knowing how to pedal a bike, but we go out really committed, and we push ourselves and each other.”

The first women’s cycling team in recent memory is also currently active. Tech’s Stephanie Lin placed first in a women’s individual time trial in at Georgia Southern this month.