I’ve played field hockey since sixth grade. While I would not consider myself an athlete, over the eight years I’ve played it I fell in love with the sport. In highschool, my field hockey team provided me with a distraction from school work, a competitive workout, and a community to rely on. I was worried that I was going to lose that community when coming to Santa Clara. I was not a varsity level athlete, nor did I want to commit the majority of my time to playing a sport. When I discovered the option for club field hockey I was really excited, the promise of a team atmosphere with a smaller time commitment was exactly what I was looking for.
Santa Clara’s club sports teams are all pay to play. They are the second level of sports here on campus, in between our varsity, division one athletes and intramural sports participants. While club sports are less of a commitment than varsity level sports, they still provide a competitive atmosphere where students can play against teams from other schools.
Last year, when I arrived to SCU as a first year student, I signed up for club field hockey at the involvement fair. My first year our co-ed team was made up of eighteen girls and one boy. Our coach, who played for stanford, came three times a week to hold practices on campus. She was extremely skilled and always got us excited to play even after a long day of classes. During practice we would do group workouts, focus on stick skills, go on group runs, and practiced scrimmages. Our team had six games, three home and three away. We road tripped as a team to Cal Poly, Davis,and Chico. Even though we are not a varsity level team we still play and compete against other schools. During home games friends and family come out to cheer on our team and support us with homemade signs and banners.
However, going to practices and games was not all we did as a team. We had team dinners where we would go to each other's houses or we would all go to brunch as a team. Many of us would go to Malley fitness classes when we did not have practice or we would meet up in the library to study together. I found some of my closest friends and role models by being on this team. The older members of the team have helped me navigate my way through Santa Clara, offering me advice about classes, professors, and internships. My club team has been a great resource for me at Santa Clara. It helped me meet new people as well as play a sport that I love. This year, I am playing again as a sophomore student and am on the leadership team, helping to organize and lead our team. Right now we are all preparing for our first game and are so excited to get back on the field!