New sports clubs increase in popularity

New sports clubs increase in popularity


Every Tuesday, seniors Sean Edwards and Ben Callaway join other students to play goalball, a Paralympic sport designed for the blind and visually impaired. Goalball is a sport where  soccer and bowling are combined. Students play goalball by wearing blackout masks and they try to score against the other team with a ball similar to a basketball that makes noise.

Dave Romano, club sponsor and previous goalball coach at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Sean Edwards started the club.

“I met Mr. Romano the summer of 2012 at an employment organization and he was my job coach. In the spare time we had, he was showing me videos of goalball. He was edging me to try to start this at Carmel and after watching it for a while (I thought it) was so cool,” Edwards said.

The club began last year with seven members, and this year it has about 23. The club gained many students after presenting their booth at the club orientation for freshmen earlier this year.

According to Edwards and Callaway, goalball is not an easy sport. While playing, all three teammates must work together on the court as one star player could not win the game for the team.

“Communication is most important. I feel it is important in goalball because if one member gets lost, the others have to help guide them back,” Callaway said.

Romano said anyone is suitable for the club.

“It’s a sport, so obviously the more athletic, the more competitive you’ll be, but that being said, we have anywhere from freshman girls to tall senior boys. You can play against someone who is more physically dominant and still be competitive,” Romano said. “It has a niche. Maybe you’re not the starting quarterback on the football team or the best soccer player, but you can be still be competitive, and it is something that is different.”

Edwards and Callaway plan to continue to grow the club by competing against other schools and organizations. The United States Association of Blind Athletes is working to create club teams that can compete against each other. Now that anyone can compete due to blackout masks, organizations are working to have those that are visually impaired and those that have normal vision compete together to create exposure for the sport.

Along with goalball, Ping Pong Club continues to grow. Last year, 25 people showed up to every meeting and 70 were on the roster. This year, 175 people are in it.

“I think Ping Pong Club has grown because it has made a name for itself. Just from word of mouth, people have spread how awesome it is, and now it has a great reputation. There is excellent advertising through the shirts that all Ping Pong Club members wear,” Mary Caltrider, club member and sophomore, said.

Soccer/Tennis, a new club offered at CHS, held its call-out meeting last month. Hayden Vossler, club founder and sophomore, and club sponsor Staci Strand, were impressed with the number of students who attended the call-out meeting.

“The outcome was successful because it’s an interesting name for a sport and my friends helped me get everyone hyped for it,” Vossler said.

Soccer/Tennis is a made-up sport in which soccer is played on a tennis court with tennis rules and a soccer ball.

“People who want to learn something new should join. Students definitely need to know coordination with a soccer ball, but the leaders are willing to teach. The first month will be spent teaching students how to play,” Strand said.

Members of the Ping Pong Club watch a match during a club meeting. The Ping Pong Club is one of the new sports clubs in CHS that a growing number of students are involved in. (KARTHIK THADASINA / PHOTO)