Canterbury ninja clubNinja madness hits Canterbury campus
23 May 2006

Its headquarters are at a secret location, but Ninjasoc, Canterbury University’s hottest new social club, has no trouble signing up new members.

Started as a joke, the four “founding fathers” are astounded to have more than 250 members on the books this year.

Ninjasoc president and engineering student Richard Flett, 21, with only his eyes visible through a black mask, said: “We expected 50 people and it ended up being 250.”

Michael Down, 21, another founder member, studying fourth-year commerce and law and brandishing a plastic ninja sword, said the club, with 40 per cent female membership, tapped into students’ secret need to be ninjas. I guess we appeal to people.

” You always, as a young man, want to be a ninja or a pirate. I guess we just made it a club and people thought, `That looks like fun’,” he said. “There are clubs like the Lawsoc and Ensoc, but they are for law students and engineering students and you didn’t have to be anything in it.”

The website for the club, which went on its first group outing to central Christchurch pubs on Saturday, promises “the only thing cooler than your mum in this crazy world is a ninja”.

Offering protection to its members, it says: “By the nine telons of ninjitsu and the forefathers of the four tails of jinan, the ninja society of Canterbury University comes to your aide.”

However, so far martial-arts skills are limited to instruction on the art of tying jumpers around heads to make a ninja mask and “getting pumped”.

University of Canterbury Students’ Association president Warren Poh said Ninjasoc was one of the more unusual social clubs at the university.

“I don’t think they are a secret bunch of real ninjas. I think they do stuff that is more ninja-aimed. I don’t really know what, but they have had a couple of barbecues. Ninjas have to eat,” he said.

Poh said Ninjasoc was welcome to use association facilities if it outgrew its secret headquarters.

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