The benefits of being involved with a club sport can be seen in many ways. From the friendships that are formed to the ability to stay involved with a sport which you love, students at Wheaton have the ability to truly enhance their college experience through club sports. Being student run organizations, supported by the Student Government Association, Club Sports allow for student leaders to formulate their clubs and grow from year to year.
Totaling 16 club sports in all, the club sports at Wheaton offer different commitment levels and different playing experiences for the Wheaton community. Since 2011, the overall registrations for club sports participation on campus have increased over 84% and totaled 555 total club sports registrations last year. This increase is due to the new programs being developed in the past 3 years and the new push for students to get involved with more than one club on campus. With clubs ranging from competitive club sports to recreational club sports, Wheaton strives to offer programs for all prospective club athletes.
The competitive club sports offered at Wheaton, such as Club Soccer, Equestrian, Ice Hockey, Rugby and Ultimate Frisbee, travel throughout New England to compete against other club programs. Throughout the past two years, several participants of these programs have competed for national championships and have traveled all over the country to compete against some of the best athletes in their respective sports. Club Tennis and Fencing also will compete in individual exhibitions and host tournament competitions throughout the school year. Practicing several times a week and competing on weekends, these competitive club sports offer Wheaton students a “varsity-like” feel without the overall commitment of being part of a varsity program on campus.
Wheaton also offers terrific non-competitive club sports which enhance the Wheaton community in several different ways. The Wheaton Cheerleading squad is a staple of the Wheaton club sports and athletics events, with performances during halftime of most varsity basketball games and cheering on teams of all levels from the sidelines. The archery, badminton, field hockey and yoga clubs offer an array of options for Wheaton students to either continue participating in an activity that they love or the opportunity to enjoy an entirely new experience. With the hope that students continue to experience new activities, Wheaton continues to try to expand programming to meet the needs of the campus.
Since the beginning of this school year, several students have already begun to set the foundation for more successful clubs on campus. Aiming towards offering fitness and healthy programming on campus, the Triathlon club was formed. Led by the efforts of Frederick Garneau ‘17 and Daniel Spencer ‘16, this club sport competes in area triathlons which require these club athletes to bike, run and swim competitively throughout the fall season. Also looking to enhance physical activity and fitness, two groups are currently aiming at developing a Fitness Club and Boxing Club on campus. Through these programs, classes would be offered for amateur and novice fitness enthusiasts in an attempt to promote a healthier, more active campus experience. These clubs would help to bring in experts in several different fitness fields to campus to teach the proper techniques and programming associated with a vast variety of fitness and boxing work outs. With a goal to enhance the fitness offerings on campus, these groups could serve as the catalysts for a healthier campus.
As club sports continue to grow in numbers and programs, the opportunities for Wheaton students to create their own club sports experience throughout their time in college is endless.