Written by: Lawrence Ricardo, Staff Writer Sonoma State STAR
"It hurts to hear that folks do not know that certain sports teams exist on campus,” said Rob Smith, the Campus Life Advisor for the sports clubs at Sonoma State University. Smith’s efforts to promote Sportsapalooza is important to the campus community because of the attitude he has about club teams.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, Smith and the Sonoma State University sports club teams invite students to come to the Seawolf Plaza and learn about the different club teams that are available. The teams will have information about joining as well as game and practice schedules. “Folks can learn to toss a Frisbee, catch a rugby or even learn how to shoot a bow,” Smith said.
Senior Erica Pecho, captain of the Sapphires dance team, will be in attendance at the event. The Sapphires are Sonoma State’s dance team who can be found performing at NCAA sporting games, Greek events and ASP events. “We are hoping that Sportsapalooza will bring more awareness to our club and what we actually do on campus,” Pecho said. In addition, the Sapphires also compete in national competitions through the United Dance Association and the United Spirit Association.
Ryan Vanvakaris, captain of the men’s club volleyball team said, “[Sportsapalooza] is definitely something that is time-worthy and is better than Big Nite because with the sports clubs, we don’t have to compete with the fraternities and sororities, and you don’t have to compete with the carnival theme that’s out there too.” Vanvakaris also mentions the convenience and openness of tabling at Sportsapalooza. “You’re not crowded. It’s a really open space to showcase just the sports clubs and all our success.”
Smith also mentioned that sports clubs travel and compete on a weekly basis. “Last year, several of the teams competed in national competitions including Men’s and Women’s Volleyball and Archery,” Smith said. Vanvakaris also spoke about the competitiveness of the Men’s Club Volleyball team. “Within the last six years, we made the National Division II Title three times.”
While they might not be Sonoma State’s official athletic teams, they do hold some notoriety. “Several athletes spanning across five sports were recognized by all conference or all league status. This goes to show the commitment and dedication,” said Smith.
While teams appear to be accomplished, both Pecho and Smith mentioned that their main focus is the overall awareness and school spirit. “I would love to see large groups of fans supporting our sport club teams at home events and bring the noise to these competitions,” Smith said.
Smith’s ambition to promote awareness for the sports club teams has initiated upcoming promotional events, in addition to Sportsapalooza. “New events such as Match of the Month and Sport Club Play Day will allow student avenues to participate and engage with SSU sport club teams and even learn more about the sports that are on campus,” Smith said.
The semester has only begun, it’s likely that the sports club teams will have plenty of interest within the student body. To find out more about the Sports Club teams, stop by the Seawolf Plaza on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 12p.m. to 1:30p.m.