Two years ago, junior Gabriel Chen was introduced to the Tour de Cure, a cycling event aimed to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. With the help of a family friend, he learned everything about the tour and how to prepare for it. Because Chen remained passionate after the event, he decided to start the Cycling Club in order to teach others about the sport.
Through this club, Chen hopes to create a welcoming environment for those who are passionate about cycling—from enthusiasts to beginners who want to learn more. He wants his club to be a place where bikers can discuss routes and methods of biking. During meetings, members will be informed about times and places where people bike during the weekends and encourage them to join a group to bike with on a regular basis. “Each meeting will basically be a hangout for people who like to cycle where they can discuss with each other,” he said.
In addition to holding discussions about members’ experiences and tips, the club will also discuss the mechanics and technology involved in biking. Meetings are held in V-3 every week on Wednesdays. While the club is not strict on attendance, Chen advises people to visit often as it would create more stimulating conversations and make the overall environment more fun.
Although the sport cricket originated in England and is widely popular in countries such as India and Australia, much of the Gunn community doesn’t know much about the sport. Because of this, cricket enthusiasts senior Nikhil Kumar and junior Neel Guha decided to start the cricket club.
“My motivation for creating the club is the fact that I want to increase the popularity of one of the most popular international sports in the world,” Kumar said.
Through the Cricket Club, Kumar hopes to teach beginners how to play the game. All members, regardless of experience, will be able to learn under the advisement of Guha, Kumar and club advisor Rajeev Virmani.
“The club is open to anyone who is interested in learning how to play the sport,” Kumar said. “You do not need to know how to play. We will teach you. You only need to bring one thing: your enthusiasm.”While the main focus of the cricket club will be practicing the sport, Kumar also plans on educating members by watching tournaments and possibly entering ones themselves.
Virmani supports Guha and Kumar’s efforts and intends to fully participate in club activities.
“There are a few dedicated individuals at Gunn who are proud of the sport and hope to spread awareness,” Virmani said. “I just hope that students will gain a greater appreciation for the sport.”
Junior Maria Kosenko’s love for yoga started at age eight when she started taking yoga classes with her mother. As her skills improved, Kosenko and her mom made two appearances on a local TV channel called “Everyone’s Yoga.” Her experience and passion for yoga and pilates motivated her to spread her knowledge to others and led her to create the Yogi club. “I often found people asking me about the yoga I do, and I wanted to explain better than I could with words,” she said.
The club meets weekly in the gym, where Kosenko will lead more advanced students with a Hatha yoga workout, which incorporates elements of pilates. Junior Wonji Park, vice president of the club, will help less experienced members. Kosenko and Park aim to lead 15 to 20 minutes of exercises and incorporate multiple workouts that will stretch different parts of the body. However, the exercises will not include the same amount of meditation commonly seen in yoga but rather focus on working out the body.
Kosenko hopes that club members will come to appreciate both the physical and mental aspects of yoga. “My ultimate goal is to let everyone focus on their own body and not care about how their neighbors are bending,” she said.
Park believes that the exercises will be beneficial to overworked students. “This club may benefit stressed out students and athletes and would energize their afternoon with sun salutation and yoga poses,” Park said. “I feel stressed at times with my workload, and when I do yoga it relaxes my anxiety and stress. I wanted to share this with others, so they may feel relaxed, motivated and confident with themselves and their school work.”
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a nation wide organization, and after a friend of senior Ben Sampson started a club at his own school, Sampson was encouraged to start one as well with the help of senior Emily Cottle, junior Joelle Kuehn, sophomore Natalie Perreault and freshman Josh Sampson. As a devoted Christian and a dedicated athlete, Sampson believes that a club that combines sports and faith will be beneficial to the Gunn community. “My main goal for this year is to create a long-lasting, open community within Gunn where people can share their faith on and off the field,” he said.
The meetings generally start out with a quick prayer. Afterwards, members share stories about their experiences in sports and how their connection with God has helped them to compete with integrity, an aspect that senior Derek Lee appreciates. “As a Christian and a sports lover, I just like how this club focuses on more of a personal interaction with God from a sports standpoint,” he said. Professional guest speakers have visited to talk about how their faith has been rewarding in their life.
Although the club is focused on athletics and Christianity, non-athletes and non-Christians are also encouraged to join. “Anyone is invited to come,” Sampson said. “We want to be as open as possible to people interested in sports or faith or both.”