That Time I… Founded the club soccer team

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Heather Barkman shows off her soccer skills. (Printed with permission from Heather Barkman.)

Heather Barkman is a sophomore double major in criminal justice and psychology, and is a forensic studies minor. She is the Health and Wellness Chair of her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau. She has also recently been elected as the Vice President of Administration for the Panhellenic Council on campus. Along with being the founder and president of the club soccer team, she also serves as the Service Chair on the Club Sports Council.

About a year ago, I started the process of founding the Women’s Club Soccer team on campus. Ever since high school, I knew I wanted to play soccer in college, but, unfortunately, I was unable to play for the school team. I was shocked NSU didn’t have a club team, let alone a club sports program in general. So my little freshman-self decided I would start my own team. I honestly had no clue what I was getting myself into or what I was doing, but I jumped right in. First, I had to find enough people interested in playing soccer at the club level, which, I’m not going to lie, I thought would be easier since we go to a school where around 70 percent of the population is female.

Once I finally got together a group of solid girls who seemed interested, I had to look for leagues we could play in, find an advisor for the team, create a budget and so much more. It was a lot of pressure because I was doing it all by myself since I didn’t have an e-board at that time. Finally, by the second semester last year, we started to hold practices with the girls we recruited so we could get acquainted with each other. These practices were a failure. We never had more than three girls show up at a time and we ended up practicing with the boy’s team just so we would have enough players. I was getting a little discouraged because I had worked so hard and I could see the team falling apart before it was even a real thing. The only hope I had was that we would be getting a whole new group of girls with the next freshman class.

By April, it was finally time to present our team in front of the Club Sports Council to see if we would be approved as an actual club. The good news is that we got approved and I could finally see my dream coming to life before me. Over the summer, my vice president and I worked hard trying to recruit new girls to join our team. I contacted the league we were going to play in and started planning games against other schools. I also started to look at uniforms for the team.

When we came back to school this year, I was so excited to get the ball rolling. Now we have a group of 20 girls who share the same passion as I do for soccer. We had our first game last weekend against the University of Miami and even though we lost, I am so proud of the effort from my team and can’t wait to see what is in store for us next.

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