The Club Sports and Recreation Department at CSULB provides a unique blend of programs and services. From the 5-12 year-old boys and girls who attend the summer Academic Enrichment Camp to the college students and community members who participate in myriad sport club programs, Club Sports and Recreation offers incredible opportunities for growth and maturation of its participants.
“From my crew days, I took away one lesson that continues to apply whether in the boats on the rowing course or as a lawyer in a trial courtroom: success comes from discipline and hard work…”
-Orange County Superior Court Judge Dave Chaffee ‘69
The Academic Enrichment Camp is a four-week summer youth program for boys and girls ages 5-12. Entering its 13th year, the camp has grown from one four-week session with 75 children to two four-week sessions with more than 200 children.
The focus of the camp is to provide academic enriching activities that are fun for the campers. Program curriculum reinforces math, language arts, art and computer skills; students also participate in games and tour campus areas and facilities.
Since the first camp was held in 2000, many CSULB employees who are parents (and grandparents) and residents of surrounding communities have had members of their families participate in the camp. Parent comments reflect the program’s success, “My child was socially and academically prepared for kindergarten after just one four-week session of Academic Enrichment Camp. He began school with confidence and enthusiasm.” Another parent said, “My daughter’s fifth grade teacher assigned an extra credit project that required students to put together a PowerPoint presentation, including research from the internet and references to a topic discussed in class. My daughter was the only student in the class who received the extra credit. When asked who taught her how to use PowerPoint, she excitedly replied, ‘I have been doing PowerPoint presentations at my summer camp since I was in third grade.”
Academic Enrichment Camps also provide incredible learning opportunities for 47 teacher employees. During summer 2012, 31 of the 47 teachers were CSULB alumni or current students.
Another program that impacts students in a positive manner is the Club Sports program. With 1,212 participants, 73 coaches and numerous volunteers, CSULB’s club sports program is the largest in the California State University system, with 42 club teams currently participating. Similar to athletic programs, members of club teams compete (without scholarships), meet eligibility requirements, hire coaches, train at a highly competitive level and fund 90 percent of their budgets from dues, donations and fund raising.
Some of CSULB’s club sport teams have a rich history at the university. For example, the crew team has been in place for 54 years. The team proudly honored co-founder Ludwig Spoylar at the 2012 Long Beach Fall Collegiate Invitational Regatta. The archery club will celebrate its 50th anniversary in September 2013 with a weekend of activities and events. The club is the oldest and longest running collegiate archery program in the country.
Another well-run club team is the CSULB sailing association. Not only has the club been going strong for 52 years, the club’s fleet of Shields sailboats is still in the water and provides countless hours of sailing pleasure. The association has gained significant financial support from the California Department of Boating and Waterways with a series of grants, the most recent one totaling $28,000. The grant supports the continued restoration of the Shields sailboat fleet and the addition of a Capri boat.
CSULB is represented locally, regionally and nationally through the competitive efforts of its club sports athletes. During the 2011-2012 academic year, 15 teams qualified for regional tournaments and nine teams qualified for national tournaments. The university is proud of its paintball team, which recently won its second College Paintball National Tournament after only four years as a recognized club team. The roller hockey team was crowned national champions in 2011, outlasting Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the semi-finals to become the first team from the West Coast to qualify for the national championship. A major accomplishment was the team’s semi-final victory over perennial champion Lindenwood University. Having won seven straight titles in nine years of championship games, Lindenwood is fully funded as a club team and offers scholarships to its players. There was a packed house at the championship game with teams from around the country cheering for the 49ers, the Cinderella team from the West Coast to upend the powerhouse Missouri team.
The men’s club volleyball team made significant progress this year by making it to the quarter-finals of the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation tournament. The team finished the season ranked fifth in the nation out of approximately 200 teams.
Another highly successful club sport at CSULB is the fishing club. The collegiate fishing series, which is highly competitive and quite technical, is backed by significant funding from the National Guard. Fishermen are known for practicing at the site of upcoming tournaments and researching the surrounding waters. The CSULB fishing club won $10,000 last year and was awarded a $25,000 voucher for a Ranger boat at this year’s tournament. The team also was highlighted on NBC Sports.
Hands-on training in sports management and special event management are skills CSULB students develop as they organize and execute their major tournaments and competitions. Eight major events or competitions were hosted last year. One of the events hosted by CSULB was the inaugural Pyramid Rail Jam. Twenty tons of snow was sprayed on the steps of the Walter Pyramid with members of the ski and snowboard teams skiing down the steps and showcasing their expert skills.
What these student-run clubs accomplish is amazing. There are significant awards and achievements by competitors and there are also significant accomplishments once they graduate. Those who competed and were club officers credit their success to the experiences they had while being a member of their respective club team.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Dave Chaffee shares, “I attended Long Beach State from the fall of 1965 to graduation in June 1969,” said Chaffee. “I started rowing with the crew team shortly after registering for classes in the fall of ’65, and continued rowing until just after graduation. Rowing requires perseverance and discipline. Physically, it is one of the most demanding sports to be found in the world. The people who row do it for the love of the sport, not because there is some financial reward waiting for them after college. From my crew days, I took away one lesson in particular that continues to apply: whether in the boats on the rowing course or as a lawyer in a trial courtroom, success comes from discipline and hard work. There are no shortcuts or easy answers to winning in trial or in a crew race.”
Former club president, player and tournament director for the CSULB men’s volleyball club Matt Doshier says, “With my internship at the Tiger Woods Foundation and the completion of my master’s degree in sports management, I was ready to find the perfect full-time job in the sports field. After a few unsuccessful interviews, I decided to revamp my resume to include my experiences with the men’s volleyball club. I landed an interview with Wizard World (my current employer) and spent a large portion of the interview talking about the experience I had with men’s volleyball. The person interviewing me was the coach of the VB club team at Ithaca College and knew firsthand how challenging it was to balance school and work, with playing and hosting a tournament.”
Former president of the ski and snowboard team Ryan Stenberg was the mastermind behind the 2012 Pyramid Rail Jam. Putting his civil engineering classes to good use, Stenberg presented his idea to the Special Events Office. His presentation included a complete cad drawing of the pyramid steps, the impact of 20 tons of snow on the steps and the slope created by the snow. Because of his detailed work on the CSULB Pyramid Rail Jam project, Stenberg landed a very prestigious internship with the City of Mammoth overseeing road construction projects the following summer.
On a campus as large as CSULB, students yearn for a way to connect, be a part of campus life and experience “Beach Pride.” The university’s newer club sport teams support this trend. The women’s rugby team, sailing team, wrestling team and cheer club have received significant student support, with the women’s rugby team and the sailing team making strides on the playing field as well.
Club sports subsidize their day-to-day expenses by fundraising, soliciting donations from alumni and paying out-of-pocket for expenses such as hotel rooms, transportation, coaching fees and uniforms. Last year, club sports participants generated $457,199 in donations and fundraising, paid $248,455 in dues and paid $106,617 out-of-pocket to meet those day-to-day expenses. An additional $155,199 in support was allocated to sports by the Associated Students, Inc.
In addition to representing the campus on the playing field, CSULB’s sport clubs also represent the campus through their many community service projects. Non-profit organizations that benefit from their support include Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Special Olympics, Challenged Athletes Foundation, American Cancer Society, Surfrider Foundation, Rebuilding Together Long Beach Foundation, Lions Club and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.
Over the years, the programs provided through Club Sports and Recreation have impacted the lives of thousands of CSULB students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. Enriching campus life and instilling practical skills that stay with students long after they leave the university are just a few examples of how Club Sports and Recreation makes a difference in the lives of the people it touches.
ormer CSULB student Kyle Watson learned basic keelboat sailing while a member of CSULB’s sailing association. After graduating in 2007, Watson continued to grow in both seamanship and leadership by earning several U.S. Merchant Marine master credentials and gaining proficiency in the use of survival craft, able seamanship and basic seafarer’s safety training. Watson currently is working for Call of the Sea, as captain of their 65-ton schooner Seaward (pictured). Call of the Sea is an educational nonprofit with the mission of connecting people to the sea and maritime traditions, with a special focus on empowering youth of all backgrounds. Watson still finds time to sail with CSULB’s sailing association between his own ship’s voyages.