As a new sporting year at Nottingham University begins, Impact decided to get the lowdown on what to expect from the new Athletic Union Officer Paul Lloyd.
What are your main aims for the year as A.U President?
I have quite a few. Obviously winning the Varsity series is high up the list, as is getting back in to the top 5 in BUCS. I also want to improve the AU Ball and Xmas socials. Regarding intra-mural sports, I want to make them feel more a part of the AU. I have already set a date for intra-mural team photos and an intra-mural Ball, both of which are new this year. We have the biggest intra-mural programme in the country and we should shout about this more. I have expanded the intra-mural programme by starting up intra-mural tennis and am running Superstars for the first time in 13 years and I am very confident about how successful this will be. As well as this, I also want to insure that the Wednesday Afternoon socials at The Venue are successful. Phil worked very hard to attain the money for this and I am very grateful to take the credit for it.
How do you propose advertising university sport to the students outside of the clubs?
This year we have more clubs and more teams than ever, so hopefully most students will have had a better chance than ever to already be involved in a club. Once Freshers’ Fayre is over, it is admittedly more difficult to join those clubs that have limited membership, but you can still sign up on www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/sports. Our intra-mural programme also greatly alleviates any problems this could cause. As an AU we do continue to promote our clubs throughout the year. Through sports meetings, posters and the SRSs, and it is important we continue to do so. Events such as Varsity, Superstars and Refreshers’ Fayre also help promote the AU and its clubs. It is important that students realise that once Freshers’ week is over, they still have the chance to join one of the 76 clubs and 150+ intra-mural teams we have.
A number of students complain of having to pay membership fees due to their tight budget, what can you say to them?
I completely empathise with them, as I’m still having to count the pennies in my wallet! But relative to what you can get outside of University, the membership is a really good price. For £195 you get free use of our astro turf pitches, 3G pitch when it is open, multiple sports centres (including those in China and Malaysia if you are really keen), swimming pool, and fitness centre. We have the most sports centres out of any University in the country and some of the best facilities around, people should definitely take advantage of this. Outside of Uni you could easily pay £195 for half a year’s gym membership.
Varsity… Which sport do you want to win the most?
I played Football for the Uni in my first two years, so do admittedly have a soft spot for that match. But being as competitive as I am, I don’t care which specific matches we win, as long as we regain varsity from the Poly down the road.
As A.U President, you’re kind of a big deal… Does it help you with the ladies?
I wouldn’t say I was a big deal, and that’s definitely not something I would say to “the ladies”. But I did once give out my business card in Ocean and that was pretty awkward and didn’t help at all!
What was your main worry before taking the post?
Crouchy the Societies Officer and his disgraceful chat.
Has this worry been proven wrong?
Yes, Stu Bailey’s(SRS Officer) chat is much more concerning.
Is the job harder than you expected?
I wouldn’t say it was harder, as that would insinuate that I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I thought I would. The hours are admittedly longer than I thought they would be, but I genuinely do enjoy each day.
What would you say to anyone considering running for a position on the SU Exec next year?
I think the most important part is that they understand what exactly the job entails. I believe this is by far the best job on the SU Exec (although I’m slightly biased) and I will strongly recommend it to anyone considering running for it. But during the first few weeks I have struggled to get out of the office before 8pm and it is important they are aware of this.
Max McLaren and Matthew Flower