Student helps bring club sports to Quinnipiac

Brooke Reilly

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Students at Quinnipiac University have been pushing for club sports to be affiliated with the university for many years.

First-year graduate student, Brandon Vattima, spearheaded this initiative when he was elected to the Student Government Association during his sophomore year of his undergraduate studies.

“When I was elected onto Student Government as a representative at the time, they said to fulfill something that you’re passionate about,” Vattima said. “That was definitely something I wanted to move forward with.”

Brandon was also a member of the Brave Hockey Club during his undergraduate years. However, that was not the reason why he decided to move forward with this initiative.

Vattima explained that when students go to college, they want to continue with their high school involvements, and for many, that is sports. Quinnipiac only takes a select number of athletes, as it is a Division 1 school, so other students did not have the opportunity to participate in sports at a competitive level.

“Being able to facilitate and having another outlet for them outside of the classroom was really my biggest thing,” Vattima said.

Club sports teams have a much smaller commitment level than Division 1 teams do. Vattima was in charge of the Brave Hockey Club for the last two years. He only held practices once a week and scheduled games for Fridays or Saturdays so the players had time for their schoolwork and other involvements.

“We look at it as more of let’s help the team contribute to everybody’s college experience, not take away from it,” Vattima said.

Vattima emphasized the importance of being a member of a team and how their number one priority is bonding with each other.

“We don’t need more time on the ice, we just need more time hanging out with one another,” Vattima said. “I think that’s just a great motive for all of club sports to follow.”

Moving forward, Vattima thinks that having club sports on campus will increase enrollment numbers and retention rates at Quinnipiac.

“All of our peer institutes have club sports except for one,” Vattima said. “When we step back and look at it, this is definitely a huge stepping stone for Quinnipiac, and I think that our numbers for admissions next year is definitely going to reflect it.”

There are still some logistics that need to be sorted out, such as facilities for games and practices. Throughout the process of this initiative Vattima worked closely with Associate Director of Intramurals, Michael Medina. Vattima believes the club and Division 1 teams will be in need of space at the same time, so he thinks that Medina will likely be looking into other locations for the club teams to use.

“I don’t know necessarily if all of the club sports teams are going to reap the benefits of using the state of the art facilities that we have here,” Vattima said. “But it’s definitely something that’s going to be transitioned in the near future.”

As announced by President Judy Olian, club sports will begin to be affiliated with Quinnipiac during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“We basically just set out to do everything that we wanted to do and more,” Vattima said. “We just wanted to leave a legacy positive that would put the university in a better place than what it was when we got here, and I feel that I can firmly sit back, say that.”

As for the future, Vattima is excited to see what is in store.

“This is just going to make our student body a lot more well-rounded and empower people that much more,” Vattima said.