Competitive Clubs

How to get involved with university athletics and competitive clubs

Marc Jan | Fulcrum Staff

Photo by Richard Whittaker

NOT EVERYONE CAN get into university on a sports scholarship that guarantees them a spot on the football team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join a varsity team or a competitive club.

The varsity scoop

Varsity teams are tightly regimented and well-oiled machines that necessitate organization and preparation in advance. Because of this, many of the student-athletes are drafted before the summer is half over. Other times, it depends on the season.  With our Canadian weather, this can mean playing a game of soccer in the snow.

With that in mind, if you are thinking about joining any of these teams you need to consider the following: Attending four to six practices a week with additional individual training; balancing that time commitment with a minimum of four classes per semester; and travelling on weekends.

Varsity tryouts

Men’s basketball will be hosting their open try-outs Sept. 9 in Montpetit hall, gym two.  The try-outs begin at 7 a.m., so you’re expected to be there at 7:45 a.m.  They will be ongoing until 10 a.m. This try-out will be free of charge.

The team is likely looking for two new student-athletes based on prior rosters.

Men’s hockey will be hosting open tryouts Sept. 5–8 at the Minto Sports Complex.  The details of the try-outs are available on the Gee-Gees website.  Online registration is mandatory and there is a fee of $75.  The team is looking for 16 new student-athletes.

Women’s hockey will be hosting open tryouts Sept. 7–8 at the Minto Sports Complex in E-217. The first day will begin at 8 a.m.–show up at 7:45 a.m.–and will go on until 4 p.m.  There is a $75 fee to participate.  The team is unclear as to how many new players it wants.

Women’s volleyball will host open tryout on Sept. 4 at Montpetit Hall in gym one.  The tryout will begin at 6:30 p.m., so show up at 6:20 p.m.  Candidates are expected to come prepared to play right away.  The team isn’t looking for any new players. They are looking for talent they may have missed, or not had the opportunity to see.  The team operates at an extremely competitive level.  There are no guarantees that anybody will make it.

The most important detail about varsity teams to keep in mind is that the head coach should always be contacted.  Contact them before the tryouts; they will give you an idea about whether or not that team will need another student-athlete. You won’t make the team no matter how good you are if the coach doesn’t see it.

Additionally, some teams also have development teams. The swim team is a great example of this.  Being on the development team is your biggest ticket to joining the team altogether.

If you’re worried about money, don’t sweat it.  Any returning student-athlete maintaining a 70% average in their previous year can be awarded up to $3,500 in Athletic Financial Awards.

The competitive clubs scoop

Being a competitive club doesn’t mean playing at a less competitive level. It only means U of O provides less financial support than it does the varsity teams.  There have been years in which competitive clubs have achieved noteworthy rankings, like the badminton team and the equestrian club for example.

Competitive tryouts

The dance team will host its tryouts Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. in the Montpetit dance studio.  The standard level of competition for this club is relatively high, but they also have a non-competitive team.

The rowing club will host its try-outs for the novice team on Sept. 7 at around 6 a.m.  The rowing club is open for both men and women.

Men’s ultimate will host its tryouts the week of Sept. 10 and 12 at 8:30 a.m. in the Sports Complex.  Both are mandatory

One thing to keep in mind with competitive clubs is that they are funded less than the varsity teams and will cost you more money, primarily in travel costs.

There are currently 19 recognized competitive clubs, varying from the ringette team, to the cheerleading squad, to the equestrian club, and even to the men’s rugby team.

A few have already had their try-outs—like the men’s soccer team—but for the most part, they’ll be accepting new players come September.  Go online to the competitive club side of the Gee-Gee’s website to look into it—contact information is available there.