Profile: Enrique Martinez
MSU Wakeboard and Ski Club president and founder Enrique Martinez has worked hard to help build nationally competing water sports teams.
The senior international business major said he'd thought about starting a water sports club for the past few years, before finally taking the first steps toward his goal.
"At the beginning of the 2012 spring semester I convinced myself to at least try and get something going and see if it could last," he said.
Martinez wrote a club constitution and turned in the application for the team, which the university approved in March. Since then, interest in the team has grown and riders from all skill levels, from people who have never tried it to experienced riders, are welcome.
In its freshman year, the wakeboard and water skiing teams have done incredibly well, placing in numerous events. In fact, the club has been so successful that the wakeboard team was invited to compete in the Collegiate Wakeboard National Championships, where it placed 12th. The event was televised July 11 on CBS Sports.
"I'm extremely proud of how far we've come in such a short time," Martinez said.
The team currently practices on the Tombigbee River in Columbus. Since they tend to ride year-round, team members wear wetsuits in the winter and shorts in the summer.
Although born and raised in Mexico City, Martinez lived in Los Angeles before coming to Mississippi and attending high school at St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis. It was then that a friend first taught Martinez how to wakeboard.
Now, it's a way of life for him; he even works with both the USA Wakeboarding and the Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour, organizing events and competitions and lining up sponsors.
"Wakeboarding is a great sport where you can just forget about things and meet amazing people that love the water as much as you do," Martinez said.Writer: Margaret Kovar | Photo: Beth Wynn
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