Home > Features > Elon Water Ski Club Becomes Official

Elon Water Ski Club Becomes Official

Water ski club takes off

by Christina Edwards
October 29, 2008

Elon may be hours from the coast but the water sports scene has still found its way to campus.

The 21 members of Elon’s month-old Water Ski Club take advantage of Burlington’s Lake Cammack, located only 11 miles from campus.

The club became official Sept. 22, after two years of effort from president Brice McHale.

“It was a slow process, but I think the school wanted to make sure it was done right,” McHale said.

McHale has been an avid water skier since the age of 6, but hadn’t thought about bringing the sport to Elon until chemistry professor Eugene Grimley approached him.

“The first thing you have to do [to start a campus organization] is get an adviser,” McHale said. “Dr. Grimley actually contacted me a week or two into freshman year and asked if I would be interested.”

Nearly a year had gone by when Anna Powell, a sophomore from Fuquay-Varina, N.C., joined the club and everything began to fall into place.

Powell’s parents allowed the club to use their boat and helped them gain access to Lake Cammack.

Before they could become an officially recognized Elon organization, both McHale and Grimley had to go through extensive safety coordinator training.

“Elon was very meticulous in making sure everything was done right,” McHale said. “I think they just wanted to make sure we did everything safely.”

The club has already participated in competitions, including a South Atlantic Conference Regional competition.

The club is ranked 45th out of the 74 east coast teams.

“We have a wide variety of experience,” McHale said. “We have people who have been doing competitions, and we have people who have just started. We have the full spectrum.”

He has been water skiing since he was 6 years old, and began skiing competitively when he was just seven. However, unlike McHale, some club members are new to competing.

“Before this club, I had [water] skied one time,” freshman Erik Higbee said. “I just heard about it, and wanted to give it a chance. I think after five practices I was doing the slalom mini course.”

Club members practice at Lake Cammack on Thursdays when the lake is closed to the general public.

“We have one of the best collegiate water ski setups,” McHale said. “We have the slalom course, and it’s regularly available to us.”

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