AGEC student finds leadership as Hurling Club president 



Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication

During the fall of his freshmen year, Grant Reynout (Senior; AgriFinance; Dyer, IN) and his roommate were walking back from class and saw a student hitting a ball a round with a stick. They quickly realized they wanted to find out what the student was doing. This student’s name is Zach and he passed them the ball, introduced himself and told them he was the president of the hurling club. Zach gave Grant and his roommate a run-down of what the sport was. 

"Hurling, also called hurley, outdoor stick-and-ball game somewhat akin to field hockey and lacrosse and long recognized as the national pastime of Ireland. There is considerable reference to hurling (iomáin in Gaelic) in the oldest Irish manuscripts describing the game as far back as the 13th century BC; many heroes of ancient tales were expert hurlers. The stick used is called a hurley, camán in Gaelic, and camáns in relief decorate some monuments to 15th-century chieftains. Hurling was for long a game played between neighbouring clans or rival parishes with unlimited numbers of players on either side." - for more info visit https://www.britannica.com/sports/hurling

With them both being super competitive people, they said they’d check it out. They went to a practice and loved it. Grant said that the guys on the team were very inviting and they all became friends. “Zach to this day is one of my best friends from Purdue resulting from asking him what he was doing on memorial mall hitting a ball around. How cool is that?”

Before the hurling club, Grant said that he never saw himself as a leader and always felt like a follower, which he was okay with. The spring of his freshmen year was elections for the Hurling Club. They started by nominating people for positions. Grant was nominated for secretary, accepted his nomination, and became the next secretary. “I would say this is where my leadership experience took off.” As a board, Grant and his peers accomplished many things that year including obtaining a sponsorship from Nine Irish Brothers Pub who bought them a set of jerseys for the team.

Through Grant’s term as secretary, Zach and a few other upperclassmen board members saw the leader in him that he did not see in himself. The following year at elections, he was nominated to be president. Before he knew it, Grant was the next president of the Hurling Club.  Grant took on several tasks as president that consisted of leading team meetings, delegating tasks to fellow officers, coordinating and scheduling transportation, as well as behind the scenes stuff like applying for grants and ensuring all requisite forms are completed and filed with Purdue University. “I always do my best with my daily tasks involving the club which, in the end, helped the club grow.” When he joined, the club had a total of about 10 members that would continually show up and go to practices. Recruiting was one of Grant’s main goals when he first became president. Now in his senior year, the hurling club has over 40 members.

Grant has witnessed the club grow in its presence and ranking at Nationals. In his freshmen year, they came in fourth, the following year they came in third, and this past year they came in second. Grant says that he thinks a lot of this has to do with getting the club's numbers up. This past year, Nationals took place at the University of Colorado Boulder. Grant and a fellow board member spent hours finding the cheapest lodging and transportation to maximize the amount of team members they could take there. “We sent 14 guys out to Colorado which lead us to the championship game.” Nationals was spread across the two days of Memorial Day weekend and seven teams were present. The team successfully made it through pool play with three wins and one tie. As a result, they were the first seed in tournament play and eventually moved on to the championship game, only to fall by two against Montana. “It was a very frustrating losing by so little.” This year, Nationals will take place over MLK weekend at the University of North Carolina and Grant plans to send out 20 guys in hopes to finally take home the cup. Grant has been able to become the leader he is today because of the support and encouragement he has had through others.

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