Division III athletics do not make the money that Division I schools do.
There are no ESPN contracts and usually admission to regular season games are free.
The Victory Club was established in May 2013 to enhance the student experience of athletes at California Lutheran University.
The Victory Club was founded by women’s soccer Head Coach Frank Marino and Special Assistant to the President for Athletics Jim McHugh. McHugh, who described himself as the “institutional oversight” of the club, said why it was founded.
“The Victory Club is here to provide additional support for the CLU student athlete,” McHugh said. “Athletics at a Division III school are funded from the university’s budget. There are things, like travel, equipment or facility enhancements, that require money outside the budget’s limits. The Victory Club was needed to fill a hole.”
Jeremy Sulker-Hall, senior forward for the men’s basketball team, is looking forward to his first season with the Victory Club.
“We’ve got great support from our friends and family,” Sulker-Hall said. “I’ve heard great things from the people that are part of the Victory Club. We‘re lucky and I can’t wait to have them this season.”
Through investment from alumni, family and friends of CLU Athletics, the Victory Club aids all Kingsmen and Regals sports teams.
Depending on how much is given, a different membership level is granted. Those who invest in the Victory Club may designate a specific sport to which 75 percent of their donation goes. The other 25 percent goes to the Victory Club’s general funds which are spread throughout the teams.
One of the objectives of the Victory Club, according to McHugh, is to make sure that teams are represented as equally as possible.
Senior middle blocker for the women’s volleyball team, Hayley Tamagni, named SCIAC Female Athlete of the Week on Sept. 17, said that she and her teammates are thankful for the Victory Club’s contributions.
“Our coach and entire team are incredibly thankful for the opportunities that Victory Club has provided for us,” Tamagni said. “Without their donations and constant support, we would not be blessed with the facilities and resources that our team has. It makes us feel privileged to play for CLU.”
Travel, equipment, facilities and other direct needs of the teams are the first priority. One of the additional projects that Victory Club is funding this year is a redecoration of the second story at the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center.
“When you go to most schools’ athletic buildings, you know exactly where you are,” McHugh said. “We want to have pictures and displays in here that represent every sport at Cal Lutheran.”
Other than investing in a membership, spreading the word is one way that students can get involved with Victory Club.
“Encourage your friends and families,” McHugh said. “Athletics are such an important part of the college experience. You learn leadership skills, teamwork and how to deal with adversity. We want to support that and hopefully it will lead to bigger and better things. Victory Club is really going to take off.”
Find out how to become a Victory Club member by visiting the Victory Club’s website at www.clusports.com/victoryclub.
Published Oct. 2, 2013