Club Sports introduces 'Rivalry Game Series'
A student-led initiative to raise the visibility of the university's 24 club sports programs started April 12 with a decisive Elon baseball victory over visiting East Carolina University.
By Sarah Mulnick '17
A game between Elon University and East Carolina University’s club baseball teams this month marked the start of a new effort to draw bigger crowds and generate more excitement around club sports on campus.
The April 12 match served as the debut of the Rivalry Game Series, a student-led initiative to get the word out about club sporting events. The series intends to raise visibility of the university's club sports offerings, which involve more than 1,000 students in 24 programs.
For the weekend game, which Elon won in seven innings by a score of 10-0, organizers featured music, food and a donation jar to benefit Elon University’s Club Sports Program.
“We really want to highlight the hard work, dedication and talent that the teams here have,” said Debbie Norris, associate director of Campus Recreation. “There’s a ton of leadership there that we want the rest of the university to see.”
Each team will pick one home game a year that they will consider their ‘rivalry’ game. Teams intend to more heavily market their particular event and enlist other club sports teams to volunteer for concessions, merchandise and promotional activities. Rivalry Game Series’ proceeds will be evenly divided between the 24 programs.
Ben Koffel, the president of Club Baseball, conceptualized and pitched the idea of the rivalry game series to the Club Sports Council. He said that one of the goals of the program is to help each team fundraise equally and eventually secure larger budgets from the Student Government Association.
“We want to create an awesome environment around club sports games,” Koffel said. “The Rivalry Series is meant to enhance the excitement around club sports, unify all the club sports teams and raise money equally for all club sports.”
Ian MacInnes, president of Club Tennis and president of Club Sports, said that club teams had previously scheduled and organized their own matches and events.
“While this allows each team to grow within itself,” he said, “it hasn’t allowed the program to grow as a whole. Our hope is that, with this rivalry series, teams will get excited about going to watch and support other teams.”