UoN SU Sports Officer Candidate Question Time

Published by Impact Magazine (Online) March 07, 2015.

The Students’ Union (SU) Sports Officer Candidate Question Time took place on Friday, chaired by current SU Sports Officer, Kiri Madhani. Both students and candidates discussed, at length, the need to develop a closer bond between the University’s campuses, balancing demands for beginners and BUCS points and tackling initiations.

Yolanda King suggested starting a YouTube channel so that potential students can look and see what is available, as well as getting second and third year teams into halls to support first year teams.

Joe Turner and James Bramley spoke about improving the IntraMural sports (IMS) system, while Aaron Watts stated his wish to continuing developing sports days and the UoN engage programme.

“It is something to work on, to see green as respect, for representing the University”

While all candidates agreed that the current sports branding is excellent, Joe stated his belief that the University of Nottingham does not have a culture behind the branding, meaning that students do not know what it represents: “It is something to work on, to see green as respect, for representing the University”.

Aaron was asked how he planned to engage postgraduate students in the IMS programme, as stated in his manifesto. He replied that “an IMS postgraduate officer can tailor the IMS programme to suit PG students” , and that there was a need to be flexible due to current timetabling constraints.

“[I] would rebrand it, from feedback from those not involved, students do not know what it means or stands for”

James received a question asking how he would deliver on his manifesto point to make the IMS system more transparent; he stated that “[I] would rebrand it, from feedback from those not involved, students do not know what it means or stands for”.

Joe claimed that he would break down stereotypes in sport by rolling out the ‘This girl can’ campaign and launching an initiative at ‘Freshers Fair’ so students are not daunted by stereotypes.

In response to her manifesto pledge to support academic provision, Yolanda King said that she would try to implement more lecture recording and easier access to lecture notes.

Aaron stated that his main aim, if elected as Sports Officer, would be to develop a model for sports clubs to promote to beginners and coaches: “You would get more members and playing ability would increase”as shown in his own experience of coaching beginners in tennis, and potentially “more BUCS points”.

“The big solution could be an increase in hopper buses”

In comparison, Yolanda emphasised the need to elect a media secretary to all committees: “A lot can be helped to be implemented through that: increasing participation, awareness and communication”.

Candidates were also questioned about how they would provide the same opportunities to participate in sport to students away from University Park.

Having consulted with athletes from Sutton Bonington (SB), James Bramley suggested monthly visits to SB for sports clubs.

Following a question from the floor about combating initiations at welcome drinks, all candidates agreed it was a controversial issue and a practice that could be putting off potential members.

Joe Turner advocated the introduction a “Spare Bed initiative” to allow fellow team members stay over after late training sessions or go to morning sessions and promote team spirit.

However, Aaron Watts felt that “the big solution could be an increase in hopper buses”.

James stated his desire to increase committee training and the information available explaining what each position entails as lots of members do not know.

Yolanda suggested “making it clear what is needed to improve and that students can improve” in each sport as a solution to the difficulties clubs face when members drop out.

Following a question from the floor about combating initiations at welcome drinks, all candidates agreed it was a controversial issue and a practice that could be putting off potential members.

Joe Turner and James Bramley had spoken to a member of UoN Feminists about the topic, who had suggested creating formal standardised welcome drink packs, which both candidates said they would support.

Reviewing and reallocating facilities throughout the year could work to address this issue

Again, there was agreement in response to a question from a representative from women’s hockey in relation to prioritising the allocation of facilities. Transparency in regards to decisions was seen to be the most important solution.

In response to this question, Yolanda King stated that reviewing and reallocating facilities throughout the year could work to address this issue so clubs short on time or space could “use times other clubs were not using”.

Aaron Watts used his background in the Social Tennis Club to emphasise the importance of utilising local links, having successfully negotiated the free use of all outside courts in certain time slots at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu

Image: Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu

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