Out of Left Field: Wind and Wake

Interviews with Trinity Wind and Wake committee members reveal a sports club that is passionate to maintain the vibrant community it has created

In times as uncertain as these, especially with the looming Level 5 restrictions for the next few weeks, it’s important to take part in safe activities outside. Trinity Wind and Wake is the perfect sports club to join and get involved in during isolation. This sport club participates in windsurfing, kite-surfing, and wakeboarding activities–all of which can be done socially distanced! In talking to club President Stefano Paparoni, Treasurer Nathan Simoncini, and Secretary Aífe Walsh, it is clear that this is a club that hopes to stay as active as possible during such unprecedented and unpredictable times.

While speaking to him, Paparoni reflects on his decision to join Wind and Wake in his first year, “Once you get out on the water and meet people in the club, you can’t get enough! When I saw it at Freshers Week I thought, this is the time to try something new and crazy”. It’s interesting to see how someone could find a passion for these “quite niche” sports as Paparoni puts it. The club’s rather active social media presence caught the attention of Simoncini when he was a first year. “I saw some pictures of some members wakeboarding in Grand Canal Dock and I immediately knew I wanted to try it out!” He goes on to say that it “has given me the opportunity to try out three sports I’d never done before with other students and beginners.”

“‘Our club is full of beginners trying things for the first time. Come for a taster session and see what the hype is about.'”

It seems these committee members want to keep the appeal for bright-eyed freshers and new members alive: for anyone who’s looking for something new to try. Paparoni emphasizes that there is no need for any prior experience before giving events organized by Wind and Wake a shot, “All levels of ability are welcome! Our club is full of beginners trying things for the first time. Come for a taster session and see what the hype is about”. He clearly is a strong spokesperson for the club, and also advertises the fact that the sports they offerーwindsurf, kite-surf, and wakeboardingーrequire expensive equipment, but thankfully with a membership to Trinity Wind and Wake, you have access to hefty discounts, making them all the more accessible.

“‘We have been very lucky that obviously everything is outside and our members can easily socially distance.'”

It’s clear that with new government restrictions, sport clubs at Trinity are having to adapt to an ever-changing situation more than ever. Speaking about their continued training Walsh says: “We have been very lucky that obviously everything is outside and our members can easily socially distance. Due to the nature of the sport we do, there is no close contact with other people and they work best in small groups anyway so we’ve felt very lucky on that front”. Blessed with being able to hold events and activities anywhere with a beach, Wind and Wake is determined to remain a vibrant community for students to participate in. Paparoni insists on safety being a priority for the club by saying, “Our safety officer helps us contact trace every session. With people being inside so often these days, going out wakeboarding or kite-surfing really clears your head”. While the life of a typical Trinity student seems to be hunched over the computer for hours on end, there still remain some fun opportunities to get outside and in the water for stress relief and fun.

Paparoni really hopes to see the club grow as it is “still relatively young”. The environment created by these committee members goes to show that there continue to be students trying to hold onto some sort of normality, while safely and adhering to government guidelines of course. Trying out Wind and Wake seemed to ignite a spark for Simoncini as he is “now totally addicted to wakeboarding”. He further remarks, “The whole club has an extremely welcoming and friendly environment and the more experienced members love teaching newer members new tricks. I wanted to contribute to that environment this year and ensure others can also have similar experiences whilst in college”. The growing community created by Wind and Wake is one to be a part of during times when everything is up in the air.

Shannon McGreevy

Shannon McGreevy is the Sports Editor of Trinity News, and a Senior Fresh student of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.