Moscow isn’t always about downtown coffee shops and parties on Greek row. The university also offers a plethora of athletic clubs open to students.
One of those clubs looks to break into the mainstream, despite its rather unique activities.
The logger sports club grew into existence back in 1910, where it was a part of the Associated Foresters club. Now, the club operates solely as a University club and is led by senior Katie Anderson.
Anderson, a Montana native, said she loves the opportunity to compete with the logging club because it gives her a chance to get out in nature, away from the fluorescent lights of the classroom.
“I love anything to do with the outdoors like hiking, camping, backpacking and gardening,” she said.
Anderson is working on a double major in ecology and wildlife biology and wildlife resource. Anderson first found the club through her friend, Sarah Rose, who asked Anderson to volunteer at a match held in Moscow. Anderson said at first, she was intimidated by the prospect of joining the logging club.
“I didn’t know how to run a chainsaw, and I didn’t feel like I was strong enough to throw an axe or speed chop wood, but the team quickly proved me wrong,” she said.
Anderson said she rapidly learned the basics of the sport and, most importantly, how to do it safely. Some of her signature events include obstacle pole, where competitors run up a log tilted on its side and cut the tip off with a chainsaw. She also competes in the horizontal hard chop, where loggers chop at a block of wood that they are standing on as quickly as possible. Anderson said a majority of the competitions are based on old logging practices.
After a year of impressive performances, Anderson became the team’s competition boss, organizing competitions with other schools. Going into her senior year, she was promoted to team captain.
“I consider my teammates to be some of the best friends I have made in college and competing and practicing have become great ways to blow off steam after classes and work,” Anderson said. “The team is also very close knit and we enjoy other events or activities outside of logger sports.”
The team performed well last year, taking 3rd and 4th in many of their competitions, despite often being the smallest of the teams. Anderson said that while she took pride in her teammates, she would love to see even more improvement.
“This year we would really like to see our numbers increase so we can keep the traditional logging practices alive and show more people just how fun it can be,” she said.
As with any of the clubs on campus, recruiting incoming freshman remains as important as ever. Anderson offered a piece of advice for those students who may not even know the logging club exists, and encouraged newcomers to approach the sport with an open mind.
“Just do it at least for a day, even if it ends up not working out or you don’t love it,” she said. “It is an amazing experience with amazing people.”
Brandon Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org