Fresno State's student-run newspaper

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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno+State+165-pounders+Cam+MacLeod+and+Jesus+Medina+engage+in+an+exhibition+match+Saturday+afternoon+at+the+South+Gym+after+their+first+home+meet+against+CSU+San+Marcos.+%28Darlene+Wendels%2FThe+Collegian%29
Fresno State 165-pounders Cam MacLeod and Jesus Medina engage in an exhibition match Saturday afternoon at the South Gym after their first home meet against CSU San Marcos. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

Club sports aims to impassion students

Students wanting to compete in athletic events against teams across the nation have a chance to do so thanks to Fresno State club sports.

Eddie Dominguez, the club sports coordinator, said the main goal is to help connect students on campus with a sport they are deeply passionate about.

Not to be mistaken with intramural sports, which are run by the Student Recreation Center and are a way for students to compete against one another on campus, club sports meet and practice several times a week and travel to compete against club sport teams of other schools.

Club sports have been available to students for over 60 years at Fresno State and give students an opportunity to become active, make connections and, above all else, have fun, he said.

“It provides continued opportunities for students to be able to participate in a physical activity that they enjoy,” Dominguez said. “It creates a tremendous opportunity for them to be involved while they are at school, and we know that through involvement you are more likely to return to school each year because of that.”

Not all sports have a club, but Dominguez said that should not stop students from starting one.

“I don’t have a baseball team in club sports, but students can always visit our website to learn about how to start a team,” Dominguez said. “We have a Frisbee team that competes very well. We have a cycling team that does road and mountain bikes. So there are examples of sports that you wouldn’t necessarily think of when you think of college sports and athletics.”

Rossana Aguilar, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, has always loved wrestling, but when she came to Fresno State there wasn’t a women’s club for it. Not wanting to be a part of the men’s wrestling club, Aguilar was eager to start a women’s division and in the process became the club president, a position she has held since March.

“I thought by separating our clubs it would be easier to focus on just women’s wrestling, because the tournaments are all separate so it made more sense,” Aguilar added.

Senior Jovany Gonzalez, the public relations director of the men’s wrestling club, loves the fact that he is able to pursue his athletic passion at the college level.

“Coming out of high school, there aren’t very many opportunities to wrestle in California,” said Gonzalez. “Wrestling programs are being cut left and right at four-year colleges and so it is a rare commodity to be able to wrestle after high school.”

Gonzalez added that club sports — unlike athletics at community colleges and at an intercollegiate level — are more relaxed, allowing students to have fun while focusing on their studies.

“It is definitely a different experience because I wrestled before at a community college, and it felt more like a part-time job,” Gonzalez said. “I felt like I was there for wrestling and not so much for my education, and so being in a club sport really helps me just focus on school.”

Aaron Sanders, a junior majoring in sports marketing, never thought he would like being in a club sport. His attitude quickly changed once he joined the rugby club with some of his friends.

“I tried it out and enjoyed it, and it was probably one of the greatest moments I had in my life,” Sanders said. “You get to travel and meet new people, and the sport is just fun overall.”

Senior Parker Davis, a ski and snowboard club member, said the thing he loves the most about club sports is the camaraderie.

“It is just a good way to be active on campus and not just go to class,” said Davis. “Everyone in the club kind of all came together not really knowing what to do, and now we are all friends. We hang out when we ski and during the summer.”

There are more than 20 club sports students can take part in, including, but not limited to, badminton, bowling, cycling, fishing, judo, paintball, rodeo, men’s and women’s rugby, ski and board, men’s and women’s soccer, spirit squad and tennis.

The clubs are run by students on campus and are open to undergraduates regularly enrolled at Fresno State.

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