The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Students take flight with UMW’s newest skydiving sport club

2 min read
girl skydiving

Beth Kelly is excited to make her graduation entrance via freefall. | Beth Kelly

By: Victoria R. Percherke

Sports Editor

‘Fly till I Die’ is a new sport club led by Campus Recreation’s Facilities Coordinator, Caleigh Pope. This spring, Pope hopes to create a community of flyers and help others enjoy the process of free-falling and feeling like a true eagle. New flyers are encouraged to join and will learn how to fly and do tricks air-bourne.

“I fell in love with skydiving the first time I landed and my parachute opened. I’ve made it to the ground safely every time, so why not get others to join in?” Pope said.

Pope will help lead demonstrations of tricks and how to properly sky-dive with and without a partner. 

Before skydiving, Pope said she was always finding herself zooming in on Google Earth really fast, and thought she should try out the real deal. When Pope went skydiving her first time, she stated that it wakes you up like a strong cup of coffee!

According to the Wisconsin Sky Diving Center, skydiving helps reduce stress levels. “Skydiving is a great cognitive training ground. Undergoing stress within the context of skydiving’s managed risks helps to keep the brain become sharp and supple.” Skydiving is also known to improve your cognitive levels, increase situational awareness, and encourage communication skills.

Many UMW students enjoy both the mental and physical benefits of sky-diving. Beth Kelly, senior  psycholinguistics major and member of the woman’s varsity swim team, has loved skydiving ever since her dad pushed her out of a plane in the 13th grade. This love for skydiving led her to join the sky-diving club. In her interview, Kelly described some potential benefits of skydiving for students in particular. 

“The feeling of free-falling is what makes me want to skydive everyday. There is absolutely nothing that compares to the feeling of jumping out of a plane and plummeting toward the earth!”

The skydiving team is planning on making their presence at this year’s commencements on the athletic fields. Each skydiver will be flying down performing their own set of tricks and flips. President Paino will also be taking part in this entrance before he presents his own set of speeches.

“I love UMW so much, I decided to become a real eagle on graduation day,” Paino says. 

‘Fly-Till-I-Die ‘currently practices right above the Battlefield National Park in Fredericksburg. The planes are sponsored by a nearby sky-diving facility, iFly, with professional experts to assist at every practice.

“I feel free! Freer than a bird floating through the sky. Maybe that’s because I’ve hit a bird while falling.” says Kelly.

Practices are held every Saturday morning at 10a.m.. Students are encouraged to reach out, and “fly” out of their comfort-zone. 

This story is a part of our April Fool’s edition and is intended to be satirical in nature. All information or quotations are made up and not to be taken seriously.

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