Club sports return to normal as new options arise

New and existing club sports see the benefit of restrictions lifting


Samuel Damon

Members of the men’s club volleyball team at the Student Involvement fair.

There are so many moving pieces on a college campus that many get caught under the current of life, classes and just trying to get through the day. Club sports are one of these pieces that sometimes become forgotten or ignored in the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives.

Without the COVID-19 pandemic looming over group gatherings, it is the first full year that club sports can run without restrictions made in order to accommodate the pandemic’s safety orders. This has been very exciting for the Trinity community, according to Kristen Harrison, director of recreation and sports.

“Going into the fall of 2020, we were not allowed to do anything. Only individual competitions were allowed, so we started doing weekly ping pong tournaments or tennis singles, anything we could do that was socially distanced,” Harrison said. The protocols included no indoor gatherings, mask-wearing during any outdoor activities or practices, and social distancing at all times.

Last spring was officially the first semester where full team gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, could return to normal. It was a small taste of what was to come, and now Harrison as well as students on campus are excited to get this season going. Without travel restrictions, club teams can finally take full advantage of being able to commute to tournaments with their teams and compete.

With this comes many new opportunities that Harrison and club teams will be trying to organize this year.

“Team’s seasons are expanding, and for all club teams we will now be able to travel overnight which really allows teams to have opportunities to compete in the games that they love,” Harrison said.

Being able to represent Trinity and compete at a level that is more suitable for students is a special thing. Two students, Edgar Miranda and Alexander Haney, can attest to this. Miranda and Haney play on the men’s club volleyball team, a rapidly expanding club that went to nationals last spring and has big goals for the upcoming season.

Without the strict COVID restrictions in 2021, the team was able to travel to Phoenix, Arizona last spring and compete with other high-level club teams.
“Going to a different state with your friends and being able to play against some of the top teams is a ridiculous experience. Some of the top teams there are as good as D1 programs,” Haney said.

With even more liberties this year, the team hopes to organize more games, host their first tournament and grow their club.

“We want to plan scrimmages with local schools like UIW [University of Incarnate Word] and possibly UTSA [University of Texas at San Antonio]. Our Instagram page is more active than ever and we just really want to build our presence on campus this season,” Miranda said.

Besides improving and growing existing clubs on campus, students are also creating new clubs and beginning to build them up. Andra Key, a sophomore physics major, has recently co-founded the boxing club.

“I saw on my now-vice president Mattvei [Popov]’s Instagram that he was talking about a boxing club and so I slid up and said let’s make this happen. Me, him, and a few others got a constitution together and made it an official club sport,” Key said.

They are currently a new club, having formed last spring, and are still going through different iterations of how they want to structure their organization. Prior to last spring, practicing indoors would not have been allowed, and social distancing during boxing would have been practically impossible. Without these restrictions, they are now able to coordinate workouts, do some light-to-medium sparring and just get members together to be able to form connections.

“At some point, we were thinking about reaching out to some gyms nearby or just having member nights and go and visit the boxing gyms for anyone that is interested,” Key said, excited about the upcoming season.

Fall 2022 means turning over a new leaf, and the new season brings excitement and anticipation to all organizations on campus. Club sports are officially up and running, and expanding every day. With great opportunities to compete, make friends and try new things, Trinity club sports on campus are buzzing with excitement.