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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Sport club struggles from lack of funding

Photograph courtesy of Brett Powell
Photograph courtesy of Brett Powell

Unbeknownst to many students at Chico State, several sports teams are struggle every year to remain afloat.

There are 19 club sports recognized by the Competitive Sport Clubs of Chico State, including water skiing, rugby, inline hockey, ultimate Frisbee, soccer and many more. But unlike NCAA-affiliated teams, which have facilities, equipment and tuition wavers provided for them, club sports must scrape by on fundraising and out-of-pocket money alone.

“The funds that we do get from the school, we often end up giving right back.”

-Brett Powell, inline hockey team president

Still, these clubs are expected to comply with the rules put in place in the Competitive Sport Club Handbook. These tasks vary from raising their own funds to hiring a coach and setting up practice times.

Brett Powell, the president of the inline hockey team, deals with the struggles of trying to run a club supported by players.

With a roster of about 10 members, the inline hockey team’s fees average $545 per player, which is among the highest for club teams, Powell said.

Competitive Club Sports of Chico State distributes a sum of money among club teams, but the money doesn’t come close to covering the costs of running a team, Powell said.

“The funds that we do get from the school, we often end up giving right back through dues that they have to pay to the club sports program,” Powell said.

The men’s rugby team gets a lot of its financial support by successful fundraising, said J.P. McKinley, president of the team.

“Our bulk of the fundraising is done by doing things around the community, thanks to the help of our coaches,” McKinley said.

If a player is struggling financially, most clubs have payment plans in place for the athletes so that everybody who wants to play has the chance to be on the team, McKinley said.

“We never want to turn away a player,” he said.

The clubs that manage to overcome funding problems  also struggle to gain recognition from students around the school, said Austin Barden, president of the ultimate Frisbee team.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t know about us,” Barden said. “I feel like we are not as appreciated compared to other teams around the school.”

Even though maintaining the ultimate Frisbee club is financially difficult, Barden is glad he joined up.

“It has definitely improved my college experience,” Barden said. “It makes me feel like I belong somewhere.”


Greg Silvia can be reached at [email protected] or @gsilvia on Twitter.

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