Skateboarding on water? Football without pads? Does this describe your after-school activity? For the average person, homework comes to mind, but for an increasing number of Belmont students, there are more adventurous options.
Extreme clubs are making a significant appearance on campus. Look around and you can find students sporting BU Wakeboarding or Belmont Rugby T-shirts. These are two of the many fast growing clubs sparking interest with students.
“People don’t actually think we’re serious,” said Matt Fiedler, vice president of the Wakeboarding Club.
“Yeah, people think we’re like a joke,” said Kirk Slawek, club president. These clubs, however, are anything but a joke.
The teams generally devote a few hours, three days a week, for practices.
“It’s just very fast paced and extreme,” said Bethany Nelson, president of the Rugby Club.
Fielder found similarities between wakeboarding and rugby.
An image of skateboarding on water can give a nice illustration of wakeboarding, but it actually consists of riding a board over the surface of a body of water while being pulled along behind a boat. During competitions, the team members can do jumps and tricks to gain points for a win.
Sounds extreme, right?
According to Fielder it is.
“People die every day,” he joked.
Likewise, rugby is a little more than just football without pads. It actually consists of 15 players per team and is a full contact sport. Teams try to score points by getting an oval shaped ball through a goal, sort of like a combination of soccer and football.
Accidents only happen “if you’re not smart about it,” said Morgan Caldwell, vice president of the Rugby Club.
With danger comes intrigue, and Belmont students are showing more interest with these newly formed clubs.
“We had about maybe 15 to 20 new people come out,” Caldwell said about the first rugby meeting of the year. The use of T-shirts, posters, and word of mouth is evidently doing its job to bring in new recruits.
“It just sounded really fun and adventurous,” said Laurabeth Westrate, a freshman who wanted to join the Wakeboarding Club.
While these groups might not be for everyone, they might be worth checking out.
As Matt Fiedler sees it, “It’s not every weekend you get to go out on a boat in college.”