As the sun emerges, Whatcom Community College students are provided with plentiful physical and social opportunities to enjoy the change of season.
Off-campus, a student I.D. unlocks access to sailboats, kayaks and windsurfing equipment. On campus, clubs meet to enjoy organized sports and biking.
Tucked along the western shores of Lake Whatcom, the Lakewood Boathouse rents kayaks, sailboats, canoes, and windsurfing equipment to Whatcom and Western students, for a minimal fee. “A student I.D. and $3 gets you on the water,” said Lakewood employee Shelby Allman.
Kayaks, canoes, windsurfing equipment, and rowboats are all $3 for daylong use. “We have a handful of small sailboats, called alphas, three keelboats, and two catamarans,” said desk attendant Derek Chaney. The alphas are $4 for a daylong rental, while the larger fixed-keel sailboats and catamarans are $6 for daylong use.
Participants of all skill levels are invited to participate. Allman said kayaks are among the facility’s most user-friendly equipment.However, for those looking to challenge themselves, windsurfing and sailing classes are available. “This is the best time for sailing, at the turn of the spring,” Chaney said.
“All of our instructors are Western students, certified by the manager here,” Chaney said. “We are looking for experience in the boat when we rent to people, but we don’t require that you have certifications.”
“We want to introduce people to watersports, and make it a safe, and friendly, introduction,” Allman said.
The Lakewood boathouse is located approximately 20 minutes from Whatcom’s campus at 2410 Lake Whatcom Blvd. During spring quarter the boathouse is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2 p.m. until dusk, and Saturday, and Sunday from 12 p.m. to dusk.
For students who want to enjoy an activity closer to campus, and make some new friends in the process, the International Sports Club offers organized team sports twice a week. These sports are open to all interested students, said Sunny Leung, a member of the club.
Founded winter quarter of 2012 by Sherman Leung and Sunny Leung, the International Sports Club has quickly grown from an original 10 members to approximately 70 members. “The main purpose for this club is for students to get to play sports together and make new friends from different countries,” said club president Sherman Leung.
“We play soccer every week,” said Sherman Leung, “and we are playing basketball and tennis.” The International Sports Club’s soccer games are every Friday at 1:30 p.m. on the Orca soccer fields, and tennis matches are held on Whatcom’s tennis courts every Saturday at 1 p.m.
Sunny Leung said a three-on-three basketball tournament is also in the works. It is tentatively scheduled to begin in the middle of May. The tournament will feature approximately 20 teams of four he said.
“International students really want to play basketball with American students,” said Sherman Leung. “We are trying to promote sports to everyone,” said Sunny Leung.
The International Sports Club holds weekly meetings from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays in Laidlaw room 208.
For Whatcom students who are looking for a more independent activity, and wish to take advantage of the spring season by commuting via bicycle, Whatcom’s campus has a growing number of resources for cyclists. Whatcom’s bike club is constantly working to improve the resources available to cyclists, said president Tamary Baz, and vice president Henry Thoreen.
The bike club at Whatcom is composed of students passionate about cycling. The bike club strives “to get people access to bikes and access to maintaining their bikes,” as well as the “facilities for people who want to ride bikes,” Thoreen said.
The club allocates its club funds to accomplish this. Previous installments include the bike pumps located outside of Laidlaw, and at the bike racks between Cascade and Kelly. “We are working with student council on the bike facilities for the new pavilion,” Baz said.
The bike club is also planning a week of cycling related events leading up to bike to school and work day on May 17, Baz said. These events will include a free maintenance workshop.
In addition to providing cycling resources on campus the bike club meets at least once a quarter for a group ride. “I think we will probably do a couple this quarter, if the weather is good,” said Thoreen. These rides are often impromptu with the active bike club members spreading the word by posting fliers around campus and on bicycles.
The bike club meets every Monday at 4 p.m. in Laidlaw 208.
With the abundance, and variety of activities available to Whatcom students, there are plenty of opportunities to fill the longer spring days with physical, and social, activities.