Out of the 90 clubs and 25 sports teams Staples has to offer, it would seem nearly impossible that students would not be able to find a club or team that would interest them. However, many individuals have chosen to take their athletic talents to other competitive programs. Students who participate in activities like fencing, parkour and rowing have been forced to partake in other athletic programs.
Natalie Chun ’17 is a very serious fencer who competes at the highest levels of competition in the U.S. Last year, Chun was ranked in the top 50 nationally in her division, Sabre. She participated in national championships over the summer, and even qualified for the Junior Olympics. Chun practices five to six times a week, and fences in major tournaments virtually every weekend.
Staples does offer a fencing club but not a team, much to Chun’s disappointment. “There are a few fencers who were a part of [the club] last year, but most of them fence recreationally, and their practices aren’t very advanced,” Chun said. Due to the lack of competition the club had to offer, she took her talents to the more competitive Candlewood Fencing Center in Danbury Connecticut.
“High level fencers do seem to get recruited more often because there are less fencers than other sports and colleges want unique students,” Chun said.
Sebi Alderucci ’17 was also forced to participate in an athletic program outside of Staples. Alderucci is a parkourist. Parkour is a sport where an athlete moves rapidly through an area, surmounting obstacles by running, jumping and climbing. Parkour isn’t offered as a club at Staples, so even Alderucci, who doesn’t participate in competitive parkour, had to find a program outside of Staples.
Alderucci may try to start a parkour club at Staples if there is enough student interest. “Parkour is usually casual, so we would do it for fun,” Alderucci said.
Similarly, Camila Meyer-Bosse ’17 rows not for Staples but for Saugatuck Rowing Club where she practices five times a week. Meyer-Bosse and her team has competed in several regattas including last year’s Club Nationals.
Many students who attend Staples partake in rowing programs; however, Staples doesn’t offer this sport. “Staples does not have a rowing team, the boats and oars alone are too expensive for a school sports,” Meyer-Bosse said. Most schools, including Staples, don’t offer rowing to students to save money.
Rowing is sport that is in high demand by prestigious colleges, so rowers tend to be heavily recruited. Meyer Bosse said, “I have definitely benefited from rowing outside of Staples. It’s opened me up to people and friendships outside of school, but it has given me an edge for the recruiting process as well.”