Taking their cue, getting in stroke

University of Florida sophomore Sophia Lebrun, left, practices her stroke at the Girls Night Out Pool Clinic in the Reitz Union Game Room on Wednesday evening while her friend Romy Pinkcombe takes a break from the exercise. The women saw a flier advertising the event in the Reitz Union Food Court and wanted to check it out.

JARRETT BAKER/Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 2:53 a.m.
White and pink feather boas cascaded down toward bright green pool tables Wednesday night as half a dozen University of Florida women gathered for an unusual night out with the girls.
Hosted at the Reitz Union game room, Girls Night Out is a series of clinics designed to teach women common recreational games, such as pool, Texas hold 'em poker, bowling and foosball, in hopes of encouraging women to frequent the game room.
"It has always seemed as if (pool) is perceived as a man's game," said Jay Visaria, the instructor and only man allowed at Girls Night Out. "It's not true. There is no reason that women can't be just as good of pool players as men. I just think they don't play as much."
Visaria taught three basic pool strokes.
"I'm sure you have all been somewhere and played with some guy who pointed to the table and said, 'This is where you want to hit the ball,' " Visaria said. "It's better to know yourself. Anybody can learn. It's not like rocket science."
Lining the cue on her hand, junior Taprini Spence said she attended the clinic to learn how "to beat my friends."
Sophia Lebrun, who lined up a shot before sinking the ball into the pocket, agreed that teaching women to play pool was important. Lebrun attended the clinic with a friend to make it a fun girl's night out.
Lori Siegel, the event programmer for the game room, said she hopes that more women will do the same. Despite her hopes of bringing more women into the game room, Siegel said she also likes the idea of helping women make the boys "feel like a sucker."
"Beat your boyfriend," Siegel said. "I've seen girls in here playing with their guy friends and the guys kind of beat up on (them). I think it would make the girls feel good to come in here and walk out a winner."
The $5 clinic covered two hours of instruction and an hour of practice. Each participant received a gift bag that included a coupon for a free Starbucks coffee and a free hour of pool.
The next clinic - on poker - will be held in January, Siegel said.
"I think that a lot of people have a misconception of the game room," Siegel said. "I think a lot of people just think that it is nerdy, dorky stuff. But, if that is how you make it then that is how it is going to be - if you don't make an effort to come in here with your friends and have a good time, then the nerds will take over."
For more information, visit the game room or join the listserv by sending an e-mail to gameroomadmin@union.ufl.edu.

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