Top photo, the Rollin’ Hurricanes wheelchair basketball team was named CSULB’s best new organization of the year.
Above, the Roller Hockey Club team captured its first Division I National Championship in April.
CSULB’s list of club sports is long, varied and growing, from 20 teams in 2001 to 42 just 10 years later. Ranging from baseball, ice hockey, bowling, soccer and surfing to the not so mainstream such as belly dancing, ultimate flying disc and wheelchair basketball, each team is the result of individual dedication, financial sacrifice and plain enthusiasm for the activity.
There was no shortage of any of those ingredients for the club teams, especially those that enjoyed the most success this past year.
CSULB’s roller hockey club team captured its first Division I National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA) championship, defeating Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the title game in April in Wisconsin.
“We are so proud to be the first university in NCRHA history to bring the national championship to the West Coast, and we couldn’t have done it without our coach, Bill Burrows,” said team president Travis Benson. “Bill has volunteered countless hours to this team for the past four years and has wanted this championship more than anyone. So for us to win the title for him and the university as well was huge for us. Not too many students know that we have an elite roller hockey club here at Cal State Long Beach, so for us to get this recognition and support feels great.”
The paintball team reached the Division A National Collegiate Paintball Association (NCPA) championship game in Florida, also in April, where it fell to the University of Tennessee 5-4.
“I’m very proud of our guys. We overcame a lot,” said club and team president Erik Muto, who noted that CSULB was the pre-season No. 1 collegiate pick by Action Pursuit Games magazine. “We came into the tournament with a lot of things working against us and all our guys just put their heads down and worked extremely hard and we ended up smashing a lot of the top East Coast teams, so we did fantastic.”
One of the brightest spots is the new wheelchair basketball squad led by Robert Skiles, which was named CSULB’s best new organization of the year. Called the Rollin’ Hurricanes, it’s for disabled and abled bodies alike and all ability levels. It also includes individuals from the nearby Long Beach Veterans Administration Medical Center as well as the Long Beach Flying Wheels, established in 1950.
The CSULB Shotokan Karate Club, one of the longest running organizations on campus, was recently named the No. 1 dojo in the nation by Shotokan Karate of America for its team and individual successes as well as its volunteer efforts.
Sam Abboud, far right, has been overseeing CSULB’s highly successful Shotokan Karate Club for nearly two decades.
And, while club sports at CSULB are generally aimed at students, there are also numerous opportunities for community members to also take part. For more information, visit www.csulb.edu/divisions/students/clubsports, call 562-985-7351 or contact Rita Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.