An introduction to club sports at CU Denver

A sport culture, 40 years in the making

CU Denver has been trying hard to  increase student awareness and establish participation in club sports for the past few years. After the introduction of club sports in 2011, Milo the Lynx last year, plus a total of five new sports teams almost ready to play this year including tennis, volleyball, and men’s/women’s soccer, student interest is at an all time high. With all the excitement the 2013-2014 club sports season is shaping up to be the best one yet.

Despite only having a hockey team and cheer and dance squad ever materializing in the past, teams this year are expected to turn in their budget proposal paperwork in the next few weeks, solidifying their spot in UCD club sports. Once registered for the season, these teams may begin recruiting/tryouts for their respective sport.

“There will be different tiers of help, that we can match up to a point. A non-expensive sport like tennis or soccer can fundraise and we can match up to $1000,  hockey may get $5000 since ice time alone is $250 an hour,”

“The way this works is that any student can start a club sport,” Bret Lagerblade, Marketing Director for Club Sports said. “They just have to come talk to me, fill out a budget proposal, have people wanting to play and find a non-student coach. And I can help them with all of that.”

Last year, students voted to approve referendums 1 and 2 of the 2013 Student Government elections. These referendums created fees of $8.90 per semester to support club sports, and $1.10 per semester to support the new mascot. With these funds the school is able to offer a new matching funds program and pay the new marketing director.

“There will be different tiers of help, that we can match up to a point. A non-expensive sport like tennis or soccer can fundraise and we can match up to $1000,  hockey may get $5000 since ice time alone is $250 an hour,” Lagerblade said. As aforementioned, Lagerblade’s salary is also paid through the new fee.

Lagerblade’s background at UCD has given him an added advantage in his new position as Club Sports Marketing Director, “I’ve been on this campus since 2004 as an advisor, and I’ve gotten to know students and build rapport. I’m going to be hands-on, keep it inexpensive, and be here to catch them if they fall,” Lagerblade said, “I mean the number one asset of this job is relating with students, the rest falls into place with hard work.”

In addition to his nine years at UCD, Lagerblade also has an athletics background having played collegiate baseball at Northern Iowa University, becoming an assistant coach for several universities across the country, and even played professionally for the now defunct Canadian Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs.

As of August 15, many clubs should have their practice dates and times, as well as their game schedule for their respective leagues. Playing in the rocky mountain region means most teams should expect to play schools like Metro, School of Mines, CU, CSU, UNC, Mesa, and more.  Those interested in setting up a team should think about expenses for equipment,, uniforms, travel, and fundraising plans to fund those expenses. Nonetheless, the process is fairly standard across any college’s club sports.

Lagerblade and all club captains are expected to do marketing efforts all this semester, at events like freshman orientation, school departments, CU launch week, move in, movie nights, and with flyers throughout Auraria.

Students interested in starting or joining a club sport can do so by visiting and reaching out to Lagerblade.

Men’s basketball, badminton, jiu-jitsu, tae kwon do, cycling, and cross country are among the club sports many students have shown interest in, but have yet to have someone step up to lead the club.

According to Chancellor Elliman, the culture at UCD appears to be changing and adjusting to the increasingly younger demographic that is attending the university. Hopefully, coinciding the culture shift with the 40 year anniversary of the university, means that the school is ready to move into a new era.

Author: Bryant Burciaga

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