By Ryan Touhey
The Sacred Heart University Club Sports Department has officially instituted two more sports—club triathlon and club Ultimate Frisbee. With these additions, there are now 29 club sport teams at Sacred Heart.
Triathlon is a combination of physical activities that include running, biking and swimming. Ultimate is a team sport which involves passing a flying disc all the way to an end zone in order to score points. Ray Mencio, the Director of Sacred Heart Club Sports, hopes that these sports will appeal to students and get them more involved on campus.
“We (Club Sports Dept.) gage what interest there is out there for our sports,” said Mencio. “With triathlon, it’s more of an emerging sport in terms of people generally wanting to try new things.”
Sophomore and club hockey forward Mike Barnych, believes that this direction that club sports is undertaking will receive a positive feedback from the student body.
“I think it’s good that they’re branching out more into different sports than just the traditional ones,” said Barnych. “I personally like how they’re going to go into triathlon, but I think that Ultimate Frisbee is going to be a bit more popular.”
Unlike the other club sport teams, triathlon and Ultimate will be operated differently. They both do not have an official head coach. Instead, the student leaders will work cohesively with the Club Sports Department in running the teams.
“It’s a different method that we take with some of our newer sports,” said Mencio. “There are less head coaches out there for sports that are a little bit different.”
The Club Sports Department had considered bringing in triathlon last year and Ultimate had been a club sport before. However, lack of interest led to the disappearances of both sports.
Interest resurfaced though for Ultimate on August 31. The Club Sports Department hosted an Ultimate event under the lights at Campus Field.
“We had a lot of students come out and the students that were involved really wanted to start a team up again,” said Mencio. “We told them that if they had enough interest, we can definitely give it a shot.”
Since then, those students have remained committed to their goal of gaining interest for Ultimate. One of those students is sophomore Joshua Belluche, who wanted to play the sport since he first arrived at Sacred Heart.
“When I realized that they (Sacred Heart) didn’t have a team here or even for intramurals, I knew that that was something my friends and I wanted to start,” said Belluche.
Belluche likes the competitive nature of playing Ultimate. The community aspect though is what draws him to the sport.
“I find that a lot of sports can be very competitive but also very aggressive,” said Belluche. “Frisbee isn’t that and I think that’s one of the reasons I really like playing.”
As of now, Ultimate is only undergoing practices. They need to play at least 10 games next season in order to be recognized as an official team by the non-profit organization, USA Ultimate. According to their website, USA Ultimate is the official governing body for Ultimate in the United States.
Students are able to register for both sports online by going onto the Sacred Heart Club Sports website, which leads to www.dosportseasy.com. There is no limit to how many students can play on one team.