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Springfield on the slopes: Ski and Snowboard club gives students fun opportunities

By Tucker Paquette

At Springfield College, there are a wide variety of clubs and organizations. Whether it be student leadership, sports teams or anywhere in between, there is something for everyone on Alden Street. 

Some clubs operate in a more typical manner, while others have a unique setup. The Springfield College Ski and Snowboard club most definitely falls into the latter category, as they compete on the weekends at locations all across New England.

Jack Reetz, a graduate student and founder of the club, believes the team’s members excelled in this season’s competitions. 

“The growth I saw in the returning members was incredible,” Reetz said. 

The majority of the team had no experience competing in skiing or snowboarding before starting college, and Reetz considered that while discussing the team’s performance. 

“Stepping out on these mountains and competition venues with zero experience… was a [sizeable] task to ask,” Reetz said. “Most of [the returning members] came back this season with experience under their belt and more passion for the sport.”

Reetz also views being able to introduce the team’s members to a multitude of unfamiliar spots while competing as a positive feature of the club.

“The ability to get off campus and go experience new places in New England is probably the biggest thing [that most members of this club enjoy about it],” said Jack Reetz, a graduate student and founder of the club.

“[Lots of our members] come from different backgrounds and different regions where they’ve grown up skiing, and we get to see a lot of mountains that none of us have seen before,” Reetz added.

Moving along, Reetz made note of how far the group has come in terms of people who have joined. While there were between 12 and 15 members last year, that total spiked to a notable 35 members for the current season.

“The sheer growth we saw [in the number of club members] was [very nice to see],” Reetz said. 

Anytime people spend a string of weekends together, there is always the exciting possibility that they will bond and grow closer with each other. As it turns out, this exact dynamic unfolded with the Ski and Snowboard Club. 

“[There were] a lot of new faces we got to meet and become friends with,” Reetz said. “So, getting to know those new people was definitely one of my favorite aspects of this season.”

Enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer, while experiencing a brief change of scenery, is something that strikes Reetz as another factor the group has working in its favor.

“Being outside and being on a mountain all weekend, and getting away from this city, which can be dreary in the winter season, is something that is enticing for new members,” Reetz said. 

In terms of the cost of being on the team, Reetz acknowledges it is more than the standard club. However, it’s a topic that he and the team’s other leaders are ready to discuss, as are potential reservations about not having enough skiing or snowboarding experience. 

“If money or experience level is a concern, that’s something [a prospective member] can talk to one of our captains [about one-on-one] and something we’re very happy to guide [them] through,” Reetz said.

While the club’s season just recently concluded, it is already looking forward to what next year’s competitions throughout New England have to offer.

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