The club sports program at University of Lynchburg is surging ahead.
Club sports students to engage in athletic contests without the level of commitment required for a Division III intercollegiate team. Students-athletes on club sports team practice, compete wtih club teams from other schools, and handle most aspects of managing the teams.
Vision 2020, the strategic plan that Lynchburg adopted last fall, outlined a plan to grow the club sports program and provide more opportunities for students. To support that plan, the College hired Ben Smith as director of club sports.
“The goal of the college with this position is to enhance student engagement,” Ben said. “Club sports may be an outlet for them to play the sport they love as a student and represent Lynchburg in the region and potentially on a national team. They may not even be recruited to play here, but they still want to play that sport competitively and represent LC.”
In his first few weeks on campus, Ben has been meeting with the student leaders on existing club teams and also talking to those who would like to create new teams. “They’ve thankful that the college is willing to invest in having someone dedicated to helping them grow and prosper,” he said.
The College had 13 club teams in January, and Ben hopes to have 15 by the end of the semester. Ben plans to revive a women’s basketball club team and is exploring ideas such as rock climbing and volleyball.
Having run intramural sports at Virginia Tech for about 10 years, Ben is well acquainted with the positive outcomes of playing on a team. Club sport officers gain management experience, the team gets to have fun and exercise, and all members gain experience with teamwork — a valuable life skill. “There are not many jobs that you’re going to find where you’re not working with a team,” he said.
More information about LC club sports, including ways to get involved, can be found at www.lynchburgclubsports.com