Last weekend, the Rec Cen kicked off its inaugural Celebration of Recreational Sports weekend, with over 300 UCSB alumni attending the event.
During an awards banquet held in Corwin Pavilion on Saturday evening, three standout Gaucho alumni were inducted into the Recreation Hall of Fame for their performance and contributions to sports during their years at UCSB. The theme of the evening was modeled after the Celine Dion song, “The Power of the Dream.”
“The reasoning behind the song is that everyone has a dream,” junior sports management minor and marketing and publicity coordinator of the event, Mark Perlin, said. “Just because you weren’t on an NCAA athletics team doesn’t mean that you’re any lower on the totem pole of dreams. All dreams are equal and everyone’s accomplishments and aspirations should be celebrated.”
The celebration attempted to give back to those who have contributed to UCSB’s intramural squads, 21 club teams and adventure programs over the past 40 years.
Awarded during the reception included Amy Fuller, who graduated in 1990, Bryan Tunney, alumnus of the class of 1982 and David Wagner, who graduated from UCSB in 2000.
Fuller began rowing for the UCSB club team in 1987 and went on to receive one gold and one bronze medal, competing at the collegiate level. The next logical step for her to take her game was to the Olympics, where Fuller won a silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Currently, Fuller is in her fifth year as head coach of the UCLA women’s rowing program.
Tunney was a co-captain of the men’s lacrosse team when he first began playing in 1980. That year, the Gauchos beat Stanford in the California State Championships, and he was one of six Gauchos to be selected for the state All-Star team. When Tunney obtained his undergraduate degree, he took an interim leave from Santa Barbara only to come back for graduate school to play for the Gauchos when they won the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League Championship.
Wagner led the UCSB roller hockey team to an 18-1 national record and a championship appearance in 1999. That year, he led the nation in scoring as a junior and garnered a Western Region first-team All-Star selection.
“The importance of Rec Sports was evident at this event by the turnout; the face that people care about tradition, athletes and coaches at UCSB truly exemplifies the spirit of Rec Sports,” Perlin said. “Not only have relationships been rekindled within the university, but old friends have been reunited. The power of sport results in not only friendships and lifelong memories, but also the sacrifice of blood, sweat, tears, and that’s all the fluids.”
Paul Lee, director of Recreational Sports at UCSB spearheaded the event and its conception. Two years ago he envisioned such a celebration, but his dream was realized this year.
Other departmental staff members, including Director of Exercise & Sport Studies and Recreation John Spaventa, Assistant Director Sport Clubs Coordinator Taggart Malone and Director Intramural Coordinator and office manager Marcus McMullen, all helped to make everything run smoothly this weekend.
Lee recruited a number of student coordinators active in the Exercise & Sport Studies Dept. to help put on the weekend’s festivities, such as Friday’s golf tournament, followed by inner tube water polo, hockey and an alumni/student softball tournament on Saturday. The weekend concluded with a reception held in the Rec Cen courtyard on Saturday at 4 p.m., followed by the banquet in Corwin Pavilion at 5:15. If all goes according to plan, the event will take place every five years.