The UCF Kiteboarding Knights recently won a national club championship in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, after finishing as runner-up last year.

Melanie Alfieri, a team member and the 2016 national runner-up in the women’s division, said finishing second last year motivated the club.

“We all work together to grow as individuals and as a club and also as a contributing member of the kiteboarding community and that’s a great feeling to be a part of,” Alfieri said.

Alfieri also credits the club’s recruiting and growth for its success.

“As a club we just need to continue to practice and help each other grow in our abilities, and continue to encourage others to come out and join us and learn. The more members we have the better we will do as a club.” Kiteboarding is considered an extreme sport in which athletes use a chute to catch the wind while riding on the water.

2016 has been a good year for UCF club teams, with the Wrestling Club winning the Duals National Championship in January and the Rock Climbing Club finishing fifth in the country.

Andrea Snead, coordinator of sport clubs and inclusive recreation at the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center, said UCF continues to set the bar in national competitions.

“We pride ourselves on student development within the Recreation and Wellness Center with our student staffs, and sport clubs is no different,” she said. “Students can not only improve themselves through practice and competition, but each of our clubs has an executive leadership team. Our clubs are truly run by the students for the students.”

Gary Cahen, associate director of programs at the center, said: “Our size is our strength at UCF, allowing clubs to draw from so many talented students in order to come together and achieve success at the highest level.”

Alfieri said winning titles isn’t the only goal of the club and students should really consider learning more about the sport. “The biggest reason to join the Kiteboarding Club is just to make friends that will last a lifetime,” she said.