By Keely Gendron, Staff Writer
Recently, The UMF tennis club has been promoting themselves at club fairs and across campus in the hopes of recruiting new members to contribute tennis skills and a positive attitude to their already thriving team.
The tennis club is a relatively new group on campus that only began to develop during the fall of 2014. A freshman at the time, John Kaminski had a strong interest in recreating the team, and sought other students that shared the same aspirations. After years of low membership and essentially a nonexistent tennis club, Kaminski aimed to make a change.
“I really had no idea what I was doing at that point, so there wasn’t any club activity,” said Kaminski. “I officially registered the club that semester, but it wasn’t until the fall of 2015 that we actually began playing.” Now, Kaminski serves as the president of the tennis club.
Though the recruitment process has not been easy, the club is aiming to become more active and create new ways to attract members . “So far we’ve done little to recruit players,” said Kaminski. “We made our first appearance at the club fair this semester, and we hope to continue to attend those events.” The club hopes to be recognized by more students by creating flyers and attending more events on campus.
Thanks to his years of memorable high school tennis, Kaminski wanted to pursue the same thing during his time at UMF. Transitioning from high school to college tennis has been quite a leap. “Without a dedicated coach, this has been difficult,” said Kaminski. “Hopefully, once we get the hang of everything, the club will develop into something reminiscent of an organized high school varsity tennis.”
“The tennis club is definitely a lot different compared to when I played in high school,” said Emily Ribaudo, a freshman and secretary of the tennis club, in agreement to Kaminski. “In high school we had a coach who ran everything, but since we are a club, we don’t really have a coach.” Ribaudo added, “The club is also ran all throughout the school year, unlike high school where it was only during the spring season.”
Unlike some teams and highly involved clubs on campus, Ribaudo says that the relaxed atmosphere makes balancing schoolwork with the tennis team not difficult at all. “If you can make a practice you sign your name up. If you can’t make it, you just don’t sign your name,” said Ribaudo. “It’s pretty simple, none of the practices for the club are necessarily mandatory.”
Though Kaminski thoroughly enjoys tennis, he will admit that at times, it has been stressful. “In high school, all I needed to worry about was making sure I had my equipment with me, showing up to practice, and playing the game, he said.” “Now, I have to make sure my members are eligible to participate, reserve court time, manage reservation chances, post a sign-up sheet for practice, organize matches, secure transpiration, create budgets, get signatures, and the list goes on.”
“One of my goals for this year is to stop trying to do everything myself,” said Kaminski. “Fortunately, I have officers who are willing to accept these responsibilities, but it remains difficult to play both the roles of player and organizer.”