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Cheerleading and powerlifting added to club sports line-up at SMWC

News | 04.06.2020

Two new club sports will be available for students at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) this fall. Competitive cheerleading and powerlifting will join the list of club sports at SMWC alongside eSports, dance and rowing.

“Being able to provide students with new and exciting ways to engage in campus life is a strategic focus for SMWC, and with the addition of these two new club sports we are taking a broader step in this direction,” said Brennan Randolph, vice president for enrollment management and institutional technology. “Club sports, as well as our varsity sports, are growing at The Woods and we are very excited to see new students become part of these two new club sports.”

A club sport is a student-run group or team that competes competitively with other colleges and universities, but its students do not have varsity status. Each club sport at SMWC is led by a coach. The sports present opportunities for students to be physically active, learn new skills and build relationships.

The SMWC Powerlifting Club will be open to women and men interested in training and strength competition. Its head coach will be Todd McIntyre, assistant athletic director. Students will have the opportunity to use new equipment installed at Club ’64, SWMC’s 3,776 square foot fitness center inside the Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center featuring top of the line hammer strength and life fitness equipment, four TV’s and internet access. Recent additions relevant to weightlifting include four Olympic half racks with full platforms, free weight dumbbells up to 100 lbs., weightlifting attachments and a mirror.

The club will begin competition in the spring of 2021 but training will begin as soon as a team is formed. SMWC powerlifters will go to one sanctioned national collegiate meet each spring and compete against other powerlifters from institutions across the nation. Powerlifting will hone students’ mind, body and spirit, McIntyre said. “Maybe you’re not winning at competition but you’re always getting stronger,” he said. It’s a results-oriented sport which fosters camaraderie among teammates and will teach them about nutrition and strength training techniques, he added.

Students interested in cheerleading could join the Competitive Cheerleading Club. Just like the SMWC Dance Team, this co-ed club will perform during athletic events and other SMWC functions to promote school spirit. On its second year, the club will begin competing against other intercollegiate institutions. Students participating in the club will benefit from learning dance routines, stunts, jumps and tumbling. Head coach Missy Rohrbach, an admissions counselor at SMWC, is excited to be leading this expansion. Rohrbach said “The SMWC Club Sport Competitive Cheer Team will provide students the opportunity to develop skills, technique, strength and representation of cheerleading as a sport.” She added, “Most importantly, our goals will include positive relationships, campus engagement and personal development. I look forward to leading the program to bring additional comradery and campus spirit to the campus!”

Additionally, the SMWC eSports and Gaming Club (eSGC) was recently formed at SMWC. It provides a competitive and friendly environment for gaming enthusiasts of all levels. eSGC members hone their competitive skills in preparation for tournaments within the club and with other collegiate groups. It is open to all video game players on any platform.

Club sports have enhanced the student experience at The Woods since it was introduced at the campus in 2018. The SMWC Dance Team has become a feature of athletic events, including the annual Crosstown Classic women’s basketball game between SMWC and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The rowing team, known as SMWC Crew, has been competing regionally. In April 2019, the SMWC Crew placed fourth in its first regatta in Farmer City, Illinois.

Prospective and current students interested in joining a club sport at SMWC should visit Club Sports to fill out an interest form.