Start a Collegiate Club

Are you a sprint paddler? Are you going to college? Do you want to start a sprint paddling club there? We want to help!

Why start a collegiate club?

  • You love paddling and you will miss it. Other paddlers miss it in college, too.
  • Paddling with friends in college is fun. In a student-run club, you’re in charge!
  • The leadership experience will be very rewarding. It looks great on your resume.
  • Starting a club can only elevate the sport so that more people know about it.

Feasibility Considerations

  • Is the school reasonably close to a flat body of water to paddle on? If the school has a rowing team, that’s a good sign. GTKayak has both of these 25 minutes away on the Chattahoochee River, though the team started paddling an hour away at LCKC because of the initial resources provided.
  • Is there a local paddling club that has storage facilities and perhaps boats they can loan? GTKayak started with loaners and storage at LCKC in 2000, moved to a local rowing club on the Chattahoochee in 2005, moved to a crawl space in 2008, and then graduated to a dedicated boathouse in 2011.
  • Does the school encourage students to start sports clubs and do they allocate funds to student-run sports clubs? Georgia Tech does and it has been incredibly helpful in paying for GTKayak’s lease, coaching stipend (meager), maintenance costs, travel, lodging, etc… Members pay dues and Student Government expects independent fundraising if we expect them to help pay for new purchases like boats.
  • Continuity must always be on your mind. Student-run clubs are especially susceptible to ups and downs from year to year and they are only as good as the person who is willing to take charge, think forward and carry the torch.

When Ty Hagler founded GTKayak in the fall of 2000, the organization’s constitution was written to reflect the collegiate paddling scene at the time: non-existent. Although individuals from LCKC and other clubs were going off to college and paddling on their own, there were no college clubs for them to join.

GTKayak’s Constitution
Article II – Purpose:

  1. Promote Paddlesport as a collegiate activity.
  2. To set up a foundation for a National College League.
  3. Provide a safe, fun outdoor activity that Georgia Tech students will find challenging and rewarding.
  4. Compete against other universities and colleges in regattas that will be hosted on a buoyed course by a college club.

Fast forward over a decade and GTKayak is still here, but there remains a scarcity of official college clubs (Oklahoma City University just started an awesome varsity program). We would like to see this change. Let us know that you are interested in starting a club and we will try and offer as much help as we can.