Coming to Illinois was a huge jump for me—I was in a foreign country surrounded by foreign people, concepts, and organizations. So, when Quad Day rolled around, I decided to join an RSO that I was familiar with: the Illinois Men’s Rugby Football Club. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with the rugby club at Illinois, and here’s a couple of reasons why playing a club sport is so great.
It’s an easy way to keep in shape!
My roommates are very dedicated people who wake up every single morning at 7:00 a.m. to go to the gym to work out. I’m too lazy to get out of bed before 10:00.
Playing a club sport has given a person like me a great way to stay in shape. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I have the option to play rugby and blow off some steam. Rugby practice fits nicely into my schedule as well—it starts at 5:00 in the afternoon and goes until 7:00, so I can go after all my classes are over.
Having a strict workout regime might be tough to follow, especially with all the classes you have to take. Playing a club sport gives you the exercise you need to stay healthy, and practices usually take place during hours that are convenient for everyone.
Club sports are extremely competitive.
Just because you’re not playing in front of thousands of people doesn’t mean the sport is laid-back and easy. Players on the Illinois rugby team work and train incredibly hard to gain a spot on the starting roster, and we compete against equally passionate and committed teams. If you want to test your skills in a competitive environment, then club sports are definitely for you.
You get to travel.
I love traveling. Going to new places always excites me, and I think it’s fantastic to see what different places are really like. Playing a club sport has given me the opportunity to travel around America—last year, when we played an away game against the University of Missouri, I got to see the Gateway Arch on the way back home.
It gives you a sense of purpose and belonging.
By playing a sport that I love, I feel like I have something to work for aside from schoolwork. I’ve developed great connections with players on the rugby team, and going to practice really makes me feel like I’m at home. Whether it be soccer, softball, or Quidditch, playing a club sport gives you a purpose outside your classes and a family away from home.