My experience as President of the Cheerleading Club, former Treasurer and Publicity officer, as well as a competitive member, have given me a clear insight into the intricacies of club management, and the benefits of engaging in university sport. I am dedicated to improving the experience of university sport for all students, with the enthusiasm and fresh outlook needed for Athletics Union President.
Accessibility of Sport
The opportunity to take part in sport at university is invaluable for all students. Unfortunately, this can pose a heavy financial burden for individual students, especially those looking to engage at a competitive level. To avoid this hindrance to participation, I would work closely with the Director of Sport to allow students who feel they are restricted in pursuing sport while at University to request financial assistance. This will increase access amongst the student population and allow a greater level of inclusivity at the competitive level.
Strengthened Saints Sport Community
Varsity was hugely successful this year, with a large variety of sports and clubs represented. I would like to extend this even further, building on the sense of Saints Sport community through hosting more large scale events, such as showcase events, to further integrate our diverse range of sports. Furthermore, I would take advantage of the opportunities to highlight a greater range of sports through the sports centre re-development, dedicating wall space to the vast range of clubs and using official channels to promote events from across clubs.
Though our diverse array of clubs face some similar challenges, newer and smaller clubs often feel these the hardest. As AU President, I want to continue to support the more established clubs in their long-term development goals, whilst recognising the short-term needs of smaller clubs towards wider recognition at a university and national level. All clubs should have access to opportunities to perform at the highest standards, and be given equal support towards their development goals. To this end, I will work to bring back pre-season as an option offered to all clubs, as well as hosting monthly meetings to discuss any obstacles that might be preventing clubs from performing at their best.
There has been a sense of disconnect over the past few years between the individual athletes studying at the university, clubs, and the Athletic Union. In addition to regularly attending matches, I want to increase the publicity and representation of smaller sports. To support this, I would use our official media channels to broadcast club events, as well as highlighting successful performances. Furthermore, I will host a weekly office hour in the Union to offer individual athletes a direct channel for their voices.
Ultimately, the AU President is the focal point to which students bring their visions for sport at the university, from an individual, club, and whole sport level. As President, I will ensure clubs are aware of the work the AU is doing to help each club further their dreams and aspirations, through monthly updates in the sports newsletters. To ensure all clubs have fair access to support from the AU, I will increase transparency surrounding allocation of funds, opportunities for support, and access to facilities, ensuring the club management portals are kept up to date. Clear justifications will be provided for acceptance or denial of requests, with understanding of what can be reasonably provided by the Athletics Union supplied to individual clubs.