Men’s badminton a new option for athletic Skyline students

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As of spring 2006, a new addition has been made to Skyline’s physical education department.

Head Volleyball and Badminton Coach Jan Fosberg and Physical Education Dean Andreas Wolf would like to welcome you to join the men’s badminton club team. It’s not yet a varsity team and doesn’t officially represent the school. The point of the club team is to get more people involved in the sport, and to encourage men to come out, compete and have fun doing it.

Since 1998, Skyline has had an extremely successful women’s badminton team despite the small number of teammates at hand. But during their seven year run, an interest in the sport hasn’t fully picked up, yet. Recently, a representative from a women’s team in Southern California proposed the idea of a men’s team to the California Commission on Athletes (COA). According to Jan Fosberg, the club team was created to rouse awareness in the sport itself.

“We’re trying to drum up more of an interest in badminton,” Fosberg says. “A lot of people don’t even know we have a team. They don’t necessarily have an understanding of the game.”

In an attempt to create an interest to gain support, Southern California women’s teams went out of their way to get the sport recognized. The only thing holding them back was Title 9, an amendment created in the 1970’s that states a balance between men’s and women’s sports and activities is necessary, and must be reflective of the student body.

According to Wolf, the ever fluctuating student body is currently around a 55 percent female, to a 45 percent male ratio. The sports department is roughly the opposite of that, being that there is a greater men’s participation in sports than women’s. Wolf explains that while Skyline is not currently punishable by law, it’s possible the situation may come down to that.

But with Title 9, there is also a moral obligation, and that’s the stance Wolf and executive administration choose to take.

“We’re trying to take a very proactive approach to comply with legislation,” Wolf says, “More importantly, both myself and our executive administration understand that it’s not the legal obligation that we’re pursuing, it’s the moral obligation”

Nonetheless, the main point is to have fun. To join the men’s club team, all you have to do is sign up for the class, which takes place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 in College of San Mateo’s gymnasium. While there is a suggested prerequisite of Beginning Badminton, anyone and everyone is welcome to join. Classes are flexible, and you will be required to compete. Fosberg also explained how she’s not so much interested in victory for the men’s team, as she is in recruiting members.

“I just want to get the program stabilized,” Fosberg said, “[and] get it known that we have this opportunity for guys to compete that’s never existed.”