University of Louisville Magazine

SUM 2018

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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49 SUMMER 2018 found himself telling stories about his experiences with volleyball. He ended up landing a co-op with NASA. "It was a lot of hard work, there were obstacles — for me and the club — but we worked through them together, and that experience is irreplaceable," he said. "It's made for great memories. It's a totally student-run organization, and running it with the team's executive board made for a great life experience." TACKLING THE CHALLENGE The commitment — in time and money — is significant. Clubs are on their own for expenses, including equipment, travel and fees. Hockey Coach Brian Graham said each of the 25 players pay $3,000 in dues every season. Much of that goes to pay the $280 hourly rate at the Iceland Sports Complex where they train and play. To reduce costs for players, the team raises $40,000 to $50,000 each year selling jerseys, tickets, T-shirts and other merchandise, along with what sponsors give. Graham, whose day job is in insurance, volunteers 20 to 30 hours a week running the club. He actively recruits, with all but four of his players coming from out of state, and one from as far away as Alberta, Canada. "It's a passion project," he said. "I love it." Still, he can't help but wish for SWORD PLAY Of the 24 Sports Clubs at UofL, the old- est one — as far as anyone knows — is fencing. It dates back to 1948. Patrick Kelly, club faculty advisor and a certified fencing coach, said there are about 20 members. Half are UofL stu- dents and half are from the community. They practice three days a week. Members often compete in tourna- ments, including Theo Randles, club president and a psychology major at UofL, who has earned the highest rank in fencing competing with an épée sword, the largest and heaviest of the three weapons in fencing. Épée fencing some- what resembles 19th century dueling. "It's quite an achievement," Kelly said. While fencing is more popular on the coasts and in Ivy League schools, there are only about 45 NCAA teams in the country. It remains an esoteric sport to most. "A lot of people have no idea it even exists," Kelly said. People who do play often are intro- duced through clubs like UofL's. Kelly said fencing has great benefits: it's exciting, requires intense concen- tration and is a great workout. Plus, it's ranked the safest NCAA sport, as the uniforms are so protective. "But, it's an individual sport," Kelly said. "Not everyone is geared for that. Lots of people prefer team sports." funding assistance for his players, or for a rink on campus where UofL students could come and cheer for the team. The club often draws 700 fans for home games and sells out for the raucous UK match. "The guys are treated as athletes on campus," Graham said, not "club athletes." Rice said he'd like to be able to offer club funding, too, or at least have fields with artificial turf for the clubs to host matches. Currently, teams vie for use of the SGA Intramural Sports fields behind the Speed School, but those aren't available unless weather is good. Clubs must often pay for space or play in parks, where the fields might not be in ideal shape. Still, students say the chance to play the games they love, at the prime of their athletic abilities, is worth the sacrifice. "It's absolutely changed my life," Tooker said. "It's meant everything to me." Ryan McCauley, former lacrosse club president, during a game. Brittney Tooker, captain of women's Ultimate Frisbee team. PHOTO PROVIDED BY MICHAEL C. WELLS PHOTOGRAPHY

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