Unlike traditional athletics teams, Weber State University club sports do not receive financial aid or other fee waivers for participating in their sport.
Senior Sara Minden-Bowser, a Weber State women’s rugby player, talked about what it is like to play for a club sport without all the benefits of financial aid.
“We get a budget like all clubs do,” Minden-Bowser said. “We have to match that budget through fundraising. So that budget will sometimes help with gas reimbursement for trips and uniforms and everything, but we have to raise most of the money.”
Minden-Bowser said the president of the club handles more of the finances while she is more of a club organizer.
Minden-Bowser said they will usually have a couple fundraisers a year, including one for Jamba Juice gift cards. All fundraisers require university approval because it involves donating money to the sport. In addition, there is a fee for club sports.
“Most clubs have a club fee,” said Minden-Bowser. “Ours is actually one of the cheaper ones. It’s only $80 for students, and then $120 for community players, because since we’re a club, we can have other people that have either graduated or are a part of the community play, and they just pay 40 more extra dollars.”
The fee is used for expenses such as travel. The team has traveled to Montana, Los Angeles, Idaho and other places in Utah.
If players cannot afford the fee, there are payment plans the player can enroll in. There have been known to be other players who will cover the costs for others.
Minden-Bowser learned about the rugby team through her friends in the dorms at Weber State. She didn’t know how to play rugby before joining the team.
“I just decided to do it because I didn’t really know anyone,” Minden-Bowser said. “I’ve met all my friends through the program. It’s been an amazing experience.”
Minden-Bowser said that her friends taught her and have taught other players on the team about how to play and what the sport involves once they join. Minden-Bowser said it is not a big sport, so teaching others helps them have a team.
“I think it takes away a lot of the pressure of having a lot of experience with sports,” Minden-Bowser said. “Because a lot of us didn’t have experience when we started playing.”