The Club Sports Program, sponsored by the Department of Athletics and Recreational Services at Rutgers University-Camden, has developed a tradition of encouraging students to formally organize around their sporting interests. Because club sports have been an important part of student life throughout most of Rutgers’ history, Recreational Services realizes that its role is one of advisor to the clubs, not manager. That is an important distinction if clubs are to operate independently to meet their members’ goals.
Long before varsity athletics provided an outlet for youthful energies, the men of Rutgers, like so many of their counterparts at the other colonial colleges, were privately challenging students from other schools to meet them for a little friendly competition. In fact, the Rutgers-New Brunswick student body is credited with initiating the first intercollegiate contest in football in the mid 1800s and later with starting collegiate ultimate frisbee in the 1970s. Both of these efforts were student driven and student supported with little, if any, assistance from the University.
Clubs that are members of the Club Sports Program are student organized, student led and student funded. They can be organized to serve either the recreational needs or the competitive interests of their members. The choice is theirs. Whether recreational or competitive in nature, however, it is understood that all clubs must accept the application of every student who applies regardless of their skill ability or experience and that they all must strive to:
- Provide students with the opportunity to explore the intricacies of a sport in greater depth than is possible in the intramural leagues sponsored by the recreation department of the University
- Provide leadership development opportunities for club members who wish to assume administrative duties within the club structure
- Provide students with the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level without making the same sacrifices of time and energy that are required to participate in a varsity sport
- Assist students to become part of a social community that has similar interests and goals.