By Dan Gardella
This upcoming school year, Sacred Heart Club Sports will add four new sports to its family. Spirit squad, badminton, dodge-ball, and rock climbing are the newest teams to join and moves the total amount of club sports to 29.
“We’re always looking to add more club sports,” said Greg Jones, the assistant director of club sports. “We want to have more student involvement. With the addition of four new teams, we are able to attack an aspect that other schools do not have.”
The club rock climbing team will utilize the rock climbing wall inside the Bobby Valentine Health and Recreation Center for practices. Jones said that the plan to have a rock climbing team was an idea that came after the initial plans for the building were in motion. By adding the wall to the building, the idea to use it to their advantage ultimately resulted in the creation of the team.
Along with the addition of the wall on campus, there are certified coaches to help the team with practices as well. CJ Cofrancesco, a graduate assistant for club sports is certified and will help the climbers learn and improve throughout the season.
Club badminton comes to Sacred Heart after many years of interest to begin a team within club sports.
“We have been trying to approach it for the last few years,” said Jones. “We have seen the high school interest go up. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the Northeast, specifically New York.”
Jones added on to the point, explaining that prospective students would come up to the club sports table at open houses and ask if there was a club badminton team to join. Due to the lack of court space inside the William H. Pitt Center between the division one teams and club teams, they were unable to create a team.
As for the logistics of the team, many elements are still unknown. As club sports begins to put together the team, aspects such as how many players will be on the roster, coaching situation, as well as what league to join are still being figured out. Due to the large amount of interest in the sport, Jones and the rest of club sports will gauge how it will progress as a club sport.
Like club badminton, club dodgeball is a very new idea to the club sports staff. It was only last spring that the department discovered that there was a collegiate dodgeball league. According to Jones, Sacred Heart is the only team in the northeast that is looking at adding a club dodgeball team. The goal outside of creating the team is to eventually become the northeast headquarters of the dodgeball circuit. Achieving this goal would add to the continued growth of the sport.
Lastly, the spirit squad offers a unique opportunity for those who are interested in cheer.
“It can’t be called cheerleading. It’s not competitive cheerleading because you cannot leave the ground,” said Jones. “What I mean by that is that there is no tumbling and there are no stunts.”
The spirit squad will give those who are interested in cheerleading an opportunity to learn the basics of cheer with the hope of possibly moving up to the red and white sections of the division one cheerleading team. The spirit squad will also cheer for the division one Men’s Hockey team this upcoming season, allowing them the chance to cheer.