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  • Mason Williams, Staff Writer

Sports clubs looking to bloom in spring semester

Tennis court. Photo by Skeet Starr

As the semester starts up and Bearcats return to campus after the winter break, students begin looking forward to what awaits them in the spring semester. With the warm weather comes better conditions and more enthusiasm for sports participation on the Willamette campus. While clubs like the Willamette Rugby Football Club maintain a solid (and loud) presence on campus, other sports clubs can become question marks as they evolve and work through difficulties. Here’s a glance at some of the lesser-known clubs that are making a return or becoming more active during the spring term.

Rock Climbing Club

A newcomer at Willamette, the Rock Climbing Club has been building its foundations over the fall semester and seeks to expand upon its experience in the next term. Earlier in the year, The Collegian had the opportunity to speak with its exec team on their reasons for founding the club and their plans to improve it in the future. 

Co-Presidents Wes Anderson (‘27) and Markus Varner (‘27) both expressed that they wanted to continue their passion for rock climbing into college. “There wasn’t a lot of opportunity here [on campus] for people to climb, especially being in Oregon where it’s a popular thing … we know a lot of people would like to be involved in [climbing],” Varner said. 

Anderson added, "[The club] is a new way to meet people and discover a sport that we all love. Everyone that I know who does it loves it more than anything.” The exec team expressed that they want the Rock Climbing Club to be an accessible way to exercise, providing a fun alternative to going to the gym. 

Vice President Flannery Sheets said that their main goal in expanding the club would be to get reduced membership fees at The Rock Boxx — a rock climbing gym located in southeast Salem — to make climbing as accessible as possible for club members. The exec team hopes to foster a system that will allow anyone in the Willamette community to participate in the club in the future.

Tennis Club

Due to weather and scheduling issues, the Tennis Club could not host meetings over the fall semester. Its president Grace Corsac (‘26) said that they will resume meeting next semester when weather permits.

Taekwondo Club

The Willamette Taekwondo club was also on hiatus for the fall semester. Club President Anders Webb (‘25) announced via an email to the club on Nov. 24 that he was unable to host fall practices, but plans to get them started again this term. 

Nicholas Cottril (‘26), who is helping to get the Taekwondo Club up and running again, stated that the club may experiment with new activities this semester, such as sparring practices. Cottril said that the Taekwondo Club was a great introduction to martial arts for him last year. Last spring he went to one of their meetings intending only to check out the club once, but has since been a regular attendee. He even began practicing martial arts beyond the campus after his experience. 

“It continued to spark my interest in this sort of stuff. I actually did Thai kickboxing over the summer, which was super fun.” The Taekwondo Club remains committed to offering Willamette students a beginner-friendly approach to martial arts.

As the campus begins to come back to life when students return in the spring, these clubs will join the others in offering a myriad of ways to be active and build community at Willamette University.

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