Club sports teams lack the proper media coverage and financial support that they deserve.
These teams are not given consistent reporting from the newspaper or any university- supported method for publicizing games.
“The rugby team has worked so hard this season and we’ve made it to playoffs,” Knights Rugby Union Football Club Secretary Emilio Rivera said. “We’re not just a club, we’re a team.”
Rivera said that rugby has not become an official sport because California Lutheran University requires another women’s team in order for their team to join. The team does not have to be a women’s rugby team, but any team.
Without consistent reporting or advertising for these sports teams, athletes have nothing to show for it. Many student athletes utilize public articles or statistic records about themselves to showcase their talents, keep records of their performance or gain a bigger audience for their games.
“In order to have people come to our games, we need to share events or post on social media,” Rivera said. “Most people who come are friends and family.”
Being a club sport also limits the amount of funding that Cal Lutheran allows to be allocated to the team. This limits every team’s ability to travel for tournaments and forces members to decide whether they would be able to afford championships.
Club sports are given funding through the Senate program of the Associated Students of California Lutheran Univeristy Government.
“Club sports come to us. They send in their proposals, just like any other club does, and we ask them exactly what they need and try to do as much research as possible,” sophomore Senator Alexis Ghattas said. “Of course we’d love to give the whole amount but there’s some clubs that come in and ask for 60 percent of our budget. That’s just not possible because we have so many clubs that come in.”
Ghattas said the hockey team recently asked a hockey rink to sponsor them which potentially could give them the extra support needed for their championship costs. In the past, sports teams have funded resources themselves.
“We try to see if members can help subsidize the costs because at the end of the day we can’t just outfront give them $23,000,” Ghattas said. “I don’t think it’s a matter of the sports teams being not important, it’s just that allocating a limited amount of money to people can get controversial.”
Cal Lutheran students can help these teams by giving them more support through attendance, participation and coverage. Students fund these teams through student fees. This is an opportunity to see where our money goes.
An increase in student interest in club sports helps bring attention to the gap in funding in the current system. Showing up to events and sports games can encourage student senators to re-examine the budget for clubs.
The Athletics Department also needs to be more inclusive of the club sports teams. If financial support is currently not possible, an effort to publicize the teams should be made. This encourages sponsors, attendance at games and player recognition.
Websites can include the roster, schedules and games of the competitive club sports.
The university should also consider allowing these students to participate in the competitive clubs as part of their academic requirement. Their teams could be academically supported by allowing it to appear on the transcripts for physical activity credit.
“At the end of the day, we need to decide where the need is. We want Cal Lutheran students to experience these things,” Ghattas said. “We don’t have a hockey team. We don’t have a rugby team. So it’s great that students are pursuing that and we want to support it.”