In the club: A look at club sports culture at CSU


Photo courtesy of Justin Arndt

Damon Cook, Sports Reporter

Colorado State University hosts more than 25 club sports, including Nordic skiing, crew and women’s basketball. 

The clubs at CSU are student-managed organizations. The student-athletes must schedule games, find coaches and come up with funding for their clubs. This gives athletes who join clubs the opportunity to expand their leadership and communication skills. Clubs at CSU allow athletes who want to continue playing competitive sports in their collegiate career to do so. Some of the clubs travel around the United States to compete on a national level.


Nordic ski club

The Nordic ski club competes in the Rocky Mountain Conference against other schools from Colorado and Wyoming. The season takes place mostly in January and February in places such as Crested Butte, Grand Mesa and Leadville, Colorado, and Laramie, Wyoming. Then, in March, they will travel to Mammoth Mountain in California to compete in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association Nationals for the second straight season.

Photo courtesy of Justin Arndt

Justin Arndt is the current president of the Nordic ski club. In regard to the level of commitment athletes on the ski team are expected to exhibit, Arndt said athletes who join the team “get out what they put in.” He also said the team does not require athletes to follow a specific practice schedule or attend all of the events.

“If you come all the time, and it’s what you are loving, and it’s what you want to spend all your time doing, go for it,” Arndt said. “If you can only commit to coming and skiing with us once or twice a year or as a drop-in basis, that’s cool too.”

According to the team page, skiers of all skill levels are welcome to ski with the team. As far as training goes, Arndt said the team understands not everyone always wants to do a rigorous training regime. He said the team sometimes plays ultimate frisbee or uses roller skis to practice.


Crew athlete Caroline Collignon outside the Lory Student Center
Crew athlete Caroline Collignon outside the Lory Student Center Aug. 31. (Collegian | Lucy Morantz)

The CSU crew team competes in rowing events around Colorado and Kansas and sometimes in Texas or Iowa.

“I joined CSU crew, and that’s the funnest time I’ve had,” said Caroline Collignon, peer education and development officer for the crew team. “It’s where I’ve made the majority of my friends. … My best friends come from the rowing team.” 

The team practices at Horsetooth Reservoir in the mornings. Collignon said one of the most enjoyable things about crew is how amazing the practices are.

“We do practice at 4 a.m.; however, it is, like, the most peaceful thing you will ever see,” Collignon said. “You get to see the best sunrises ever.”

Like the Nordic ski team, crew does not require too many time commitments because they understand everyone has other things going on. For the most part, they want people to show up to practices and bring a great attitude.


Women’s basketball

One of the newer clubs at CSU is the women’s basketball club. As with the other sports clubs, the women’s basketball club is student-managed. Laramie Woods, president of the women’s basketball club, said the key to finding coaches and scheduling games is connections.

One thing Woods said she likes about playing club basketball is it is a great way to decompress and create some responsibility. She expanded on this by saying being the president of the club has allowed her to learn more responsibility and leadership.

“From a president’s point of view, basketball has definitely provided me with more responsibility and taught me the importance of responsibility, especially when it’s not for yourself,” Woods said.

Woods talked about how the club does team bonding and said they plan to do team bonding monthly. She thinks chemistry plays a big part in on-court play and the team will benefit if they are closer.

“We want our members to be in a supportive environment,” Woods said. “We also would love to create an inclusive and open environment for people who want to play basketball.”

Reach Damon Cook at or on Twitter @dwcook2001.