While I enjoy writing about myself and my experiences at Penn State, I decided to interview one of my close friends and members of the Club Gymnastics Team. Andrea Glaser is a freshman from Evanston, IL. If you know your geography, than you know that Pennsylvania and Illinois are about nine hours away from each other. She explained to me the relationships she’s developed with other teammates, the difference between club sports and varsity sports, and why you should get involved.
How do club sports differ from varsity or D1 sports?
Club sports are a step down from varsity sports. They are less competitive and more team oriented. A lot of times varsity sports have a financial benefit to them. Varsity sports also come in three levels, Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3; the only difference in those is the amount of scholarships a school is allowed to give. You have to try out or get recruited in high school. Club teams are much less time consuming and more so done for the fun of it. Club teams are often responsible for their own financing and organization; it’s all student run. You don’t have to have any background in them, and are interest/ability based. Club Gymnastics has two teams, white team and blue team. White team is a non-competitive program where anyone can come in two times a week and just bounce around and learn a flip or two. Blue team is our competitive program, where you can compete as you wish at the level that you want.
Does being on a club sports team make it harder for you to get your work done or complete assignments
Surprisingly, no. I go to practice 5 days a week for a total of 14 hours a week. I also have a job which I work at 14 hours a week. I think Club Gymnastics has actually made it easier for me to get work done. I’ve done gymnastics my whole life and part of being in a highly competitive sport is learning time management. Coming to college I didn’t join Club Gymnastics until a month in and I couldn’t figure out how to time manage because I had so much time. Having a busy schedule makes sure I’m always on top of my work. One of the many great things about Club Gymnastics is that there is a huge variety of people there. There is always someone who has taken a class you’re struggling in or are in the class currently. We have Meteorology majors and Business Majors, we even have a math professor on our team. Everyone always looks out for each other in gymnastics, in life problems, and in school.
What do you do as a club sports team?
We fundraise for nationals, we participate in THON, we have a homecoming partner, we do a lot of things that other organizations do. Our Club got our first THON child a few years ago and she recently passed, so this year was a huge THON fundraising year.
Do you have to try out to be on a club sports team?
Nope! You just show up, and then you have a week to pay dues. Dues are either per semester or yearly. They vary based on what team you are joining.
How has being on a club sports team been for you?
It’s been a huge help in adjusting to college. I have always enjoyed gymnastics and a lot of my closest friends back home were gymnastics. It’s nice having people you can relate to on that level. While Club Gymnastics is a sport and we do take it seriously, we also love to have fun. It’s filled my social schedule and has brought me some of my closest friends.
What would be your best advice for someone who wants to join a club sports team?
Just join! They are so much fun. You don’t have to have any experience in it, just the interest. Everyone is welcoming and you won’t regret it. You’ll find some of your best friends.