Rutgers Club Sports: No Experience Necessary
In the inaugural edition of the “Club Sports Update” featured on the “Do What Moves U” blog, our Recreation intern, Hana Zimmerman, will highlight lesser-known club sports open to participation by individuals, including those new to the sport. There is a common misconception that club sports are only accessible to people who have played the sport previously, and intramural sports is the place you can go if you don’t have experience. However, as you will come to learn, there is a fascinating array of club sports that take anyone interested and willing to participate and learn.
Club Sport Highlights
Did you know Rutgers Recreation has a Club Equestrian team at Rutgers University-New Brunswick? If you did, do you know how it works? I had no clue! In this Q&A style section, to expose the student body to the Rutgers Equestrian team, I contacted Equestrian president Evie Deangelis to answer questions that piqued my curiosity about how an Equestrian team works. But first, some basic information about the club.
Rutgers Equestrian is an incredibly competitive and successful team, with their hunt seat team consistently ranked first or second. They have over 50 members and compete across three disciplines.
Q: Where and how often does the Equestrian team practice?
A: The equestrian team has three disciplines (hunt seat, western, and dressage). Each team practices once a week at barns about 30-40 minutes away from Rutgers. We also do workouts 3x a week.
Q: Are you assigned one singular horse? Do you travel with them to competitions?
A: We do not ride our horses; we practice on our barn’s horses and compete with other horses at shows. For intercollegiate horse shows. (IHSA and IDA) you draw a horse’s name out of a hat, and that’s the horse you compete on. This is tricky because you don’t get to warm up the horse at all; you just get on and complete your course or pattern. Since all horses are different, we try to ride a range of horses in our lessons to prepare us for anything that might be thrown on competition day.
Q: What other schools do you compete against?
A: Lehigh, Scranton, Delval, Alvernia, Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, Wilkes University, Moravian, Lebanon Valley.
Q: Do you conduct tryouts? If so, what skill level is needed to join?
A: We take members of all levels, whether you’ve been riding since you were young or are a complete beginner. From there, we place you into an appropriate division where you’ll continue to grow and improve.
Q: What is the difference between the captain positions (dressage, western, hunt seat)? How do their responsibilities differ?
A: All captains have the same responsibilities: lead their particular team, stay up to date on competition schedules, and how each member performs. They differ in discipline. Hunt seat is where you jump fences; in western, the saddles are different, and so is the style. They have horns on their saddles and a more relaxed way of riding. Lastly, dressage is like dancing with your horse in a way. Each discipline is different, but they have much to give each rider.
Have you ever thought about learning how to ballroom dance? Are you hesitant to start due to fear about having no experience? RU Ballroom is a wonderful community that will welcome you with open arms at their Sunday beginner practices. They run from 5:30–8 p.m. in the College Ave upper gym and are available to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you have never tried ballroom before, don’t have a partner, or even have never been to a dance class. They’ll teach you everything you need to know whether you are interested in social dancing, competing, or just being part of a community!
They teach standard dances like the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep, and Viennese Waltz and Latin dances like the Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive, Samba, and Paso Doble. There are two general practices each week, which cost $5 per class, or $30, for beginners for the whole semester. The best part is that new members get a two-week free trial to decide if the ballroom is something for them! So, what are you waiting for? Give Rutgers Ballroom a shot!
If any of the highlighted clubs interest you, here are the upcoming events to get involved with the club and meet the members!
Ballroom: They are holding their first social event, The Fall Ball, on Saturday, October 1st, from 12:30–4:30 p.m. in the College Ave main gym. Come try it out! Even if you discover ballroom dance may not be your thing, it is still a great opportunity to have fun and make friends.
Equestrian: They will be taking new members in the spring semester. In the meantime, you can follow their Instagram, @rutgersequestrian, and help support the club and meet the team at their bake sale fundraiser at Livingston Student Center on October 24th.
About our writer:
Hana Zimmerman (Class of 2027) is majoring in psychology at Rutgers University and has joined the Club Sports office as the writer of a bi-weekly feature on the “Do What Moves U” Blog.