Jacob Clayman plans to work in New Zealand after he graduates from college, an opportunity that may not have come his way if he weren’t playing rugby at the University of Arkansas.
Rugby is one of 31 club sports offered for students by the Intramural and Recreational Sports department in the university’s College of Education and Health Professions.
“Club sports offer what athletics always offer – a team concept,” said Bill Mock, associate director of the department. “A lot of everyday life requires students to be involved in a team.”
The club sports program is structured so that students learn leadership skills as well as teamwork, he continued.
“All of the club officers are students,” Mock said. “Clubs can have volunteer coaches to provide guidance and technical instruction.”
Clayman, a junior, is president of the men’s rugby club. The international relations and economics major from Tulsa began playing rugby as a freshman at the university.
“I have gotten to know many of our club alumni over the years as we have been re-establishing ourselves on campus,” Clayman explained. “One of our alumni from the 1980s is from New Zealand and moved back home after college here. He offered me a place to stay after I graduate. It will give me a chance to live in a foreign country for a while and play rugby in a country that is all about the sport. One of the great things about rugby is that we are all family, no matter where we are from. Rugby is the world’s largest fraternity with no boundaries, which is one of my favorite parts about the sport.”