Many Harding athletes are getting a unique opportunity to go through the social club process in their extra time due to the cancellation of their fall sports season.
Many Harding athletes, including those who have seasons in the winter or spring, are typically too busy with their practice or game schedules to go through the social club process in the early fall months.
This year, however, several athletes are finding themselves with more time than usual and have decided to go through the process.
“Last year, the club process was right in the middle of our season, and we were gone a lot because of games, so we weren’t able to go to anything,” sophomore volleyball player Ally Stoner said. “Having never been through it before, I really didn’t know what to expect about the club process. I think it will be less stressful [as a sophomore], because freshman year is all kinds of crazy and it’s nice to have a year of college under your belt.”
Tim Kirby, head women’s basketball coach, doesn’t push his athletes to join a club but recognizes that it is a beneficial way for them to be active at Harding outside of their sport.
“I have always told them it’s a good way to be involved with their classmates,” Kirby said. “We want our student athletes to experience all of Harding, so we support them if that is something they want to do.”
Going through the social club process with obligations such as club mixers brings challenges for student athletes, as they have to juggle their schoolwork and practice schedule as well, but according to Kirby, his players do an excellent job of prioritizing and balancing everything that they have going on.
“It’s been cool to just meet a different variety of guys,” freshman football player Will Fitzhugh said. “It’s awesome to be on the football team, but especially with how things are on campus right now, we don’t get the opportunity as much in class to meet people. It just gives us athletes an opportunity to step outside our sport, meet other guys, and interact with them. It’s been really cool so far.”
The Great American Conference made the decision on Aug. 14 to suspend all fall and winter sports until Dec. 31.
As per an email from Dean of Students Zach Neal, social club receptions and activities are postponed for a minimum of two weeks. However, Stoner said this pause in activities will allow time to rest beforehand.
“I think it will be nice to have a break before the process starts back up again,” Stoner said.