THE CHALLENGES of a club sport lifestyle

Typically when the words “pay” and “play” go together, it’s associated with the debate over whether or not college athletes should be paid to play. But for some club sports at Utah, it means having to pay to play — as in students who participate in these club sports are often paying their own money so they can continue playing a sport they love. While the thread of paying to play isn’t a theme with all the club sports, it is the hardship some have to overcome.

The women’s lacrosse team recently hosted tryouts and while the girls were competing for a spot, the coaches were not sure there was even going to be a team.

“As soon as a few players started changing their priorities and commitment, it changed the team dynamic. It was nerve-wracking, because they could have picked not to be there and we wouldn’t have had a team. But they have chosen to be there and I think we are going to have an amazing season.” - Women's lacrosse head coach, Tracy Pati

As for the rugby team, other programs in the country offer scholarships, but sometimes it is not enough to cover tuition for out of state students.

A lot of the students who compete in club sports are working in addition to attending school, so these practice schedules allow them to get their classes done at normal hours and allows them to work a job if need be. So when it comes down to it, these people would be having to sacrifice something if practices were scheduled differently.

“We have to make the best of it. There’s no sense in being down about it. I see no reason why we shouldn’t be getting motivated.” - Rugby team captain, Gabe Ruflin
Efforts can fall flat, however, and it ends up being a lot of friends and family rather than fans. But support is support no matter where it comes from, and oftentimes, these players just need the support of their teammates.

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Created By
Kim Brenneisen
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Rishi Deka, Josh Cisar, Tim Haslam

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