Adam Pratchett is the only candidate running for the position of Sports Officer this year. The returning officer for the hustings was Lauren Heria, who chaired the session.
Adam started by giving a one minute pitch to the audience in which he introduced himself as the President of the Men’s Basketball Club and Vice-Chair of the Welfare in Sport initiative.
Adam then outlined his three main manifesto points which were: to expand Welfare in Sport, including further mental health training to all coaches and captains; to increase participation at all levels of sports, and to run more focus groups around sport on all campuses.
“Adam explained how necessary it would be to work with the Students’ Union”
Lauren Heria began with questions that had been submitted online prior to the event. The first question concerned the David Ross Sports Village (DRSV) and the perception that it charges high prices to hold events there.
Adam explained how it would be necessary to work with the Students’ Union and UoN Sport to try and manage prices, but also highlighted how good the facilities were and the need to support the venue.
Next, Adam was asked what he proposed to do to tackle the fact that the UoN Sport brand appeared intimidating to some students and stopped them from participating.
Adam emphasised the existence of the Engage programme for beginner sports, and the need to showcase non-competitive sport more.
“I want to be there for all sports clubs”
Questions were then invited from the floor. Current Activities Officer, Becky Player, asked Adam how he would work with sports societies to make sure they feel included and supported.
Adam talked about rolling out focus groups across all campuses such as Sutton Bonington to “make their voice heard” and “to make sure I am there for them”.
Adam was then asked how he would would work to increase their memberships.
He said “I want to be there for all sports clubs”, and highlighted his desire to make sure that smaller clubs are given priority at the Sports Fair to help increase the number of their members.
“The next subject was how to tackle the intimidation factor surrounding initiations into BUCS clubs”
The next subject was how to tackle the intimidation factor surrounding initiations into BUCS clubs.
Adam made it clear that initiations were a big problem and argued that there needs to be open dialogue between staff and teams to tackle this.
He also said that there should be no tolerance for clubs who cross the line after being told off.
The final question concerned how inclusive sport can be if the price of membership cannot be reduced.
Adam noted that he has met with the Director of Sport and that “it is quite clear that the price is not going to go down”.
He added, however, that the DRSV is a brand new facility and that it is key for students to know they are getting value for money by highlighting all the facilities and services the centre offers.
Images: Rhys Thomas for Impact Images