During our Students’ Union Elections Media Day on Saturday 24th February, we chatted to the candidates who are running to be elected as your Sports Officer for the 2018-19 academic year. Take a look at what they had to say.
Cassie Ulrich is a postgraduate management student, running for Sports Officer.
During her undergraduate degree in America, Cassie was involved in university athletics and indicates that “the most impactful thing I took away from that was seeing my teammates grow as students, as athletes, as young women, and as people”.
She continues by explaining that “coming here, and seeing the scale of opportunity that this position provides to impact people, but also to enable others to impact each other, in terms of sport performance, development and engagement, I think it’s an incredible opportunity that I am very passionate about.”
In her manifesto, Cassie has five main objectives, indicating that her main policy is to “improve committee development and then use that to support member driven club development. One example of that would be to improve resources like sponsorship training to support the clubs”.
Her next manifesto objective would be welfare related, stating that “I think the university has done a great job increasing the visibility of welfare in sport but I think we can take a further proactive approach.”
“”IMS clubs and players don’t have as much access to officers, so I would like to introduce the presence of welfare officers to the IMS groups.””
One area Cassie highlights is IMS: “It seems from my conversations that the IMS clubs and players don’t have as much access to officers, so I would like to introduce the presence of welfare officers to the IMS groups and then to expand welfare officers outreach”.
When asked what she is most looking forward to during the campaign, Cassie emphasises “meeting people”, indicating she is “really excited to get out there and talk with people, get their opinions and have fun”.
Cassie suggests that her experience will “work in her favour and offer a fresh perspective as a student not traditionally from the university as an undergraduate”. She has five years experience in the American university sports system, during which she captained the women’s football team for two years.
In addition to this, Cassie “was on the leadership council as a representative of our team, liaising between the coaches and the team”.
Cassie emphasises her background in student development in the USA, during which she had “three years developing programmes, implementing those programmes and working with students.”
Cassie’s campaign slogan reflects her position as a goalkeeper: “Vote Cassie: I’m a keeper, and you’ll be in good hands.”
Emma Hodges is a third-year English student running for Sports Officer.
She explained how she is running for the role because “sport has been one of, if not the biggest things for me at university. Sport has kept me here, sometimes when I perhaps haven’t wanted to be. So, if I can take the opportunity to make it sport pivotal to other people, then that would be great”.
Emma thinks she would be the right person for the role since “[she has] an experience of club sport from a netball perspective.
“”One of the main points is about optimising what we’ve got here, like the David Ross Sports Village.””
“It’s a massive club that spans from BUCS to Engage, with IMS in the middle. So, I have a perspective from all of those members who connect with sport at different levels and I’m not restricted to one specific demographic”.
At the prospect of campaigning, Emma thinks it is “something new, something that I had never even considered before. It’s not your normal job interview process and I’ll never get the chance to do again”.
Emma discusses how her policies are “varied” in her manifesto. “One of the main points is about optimising what we’ve got here, like the David Ross Sports Village. We need to make sure that the facilities are running as well as they can be”.
Alongside this, Emma believes that “it’s about engaging people in sport and optimising the communication, with organisations like IMS, so there is a continuation for students who are getting involved all the time”.
Emma wants to “expand on what Adam has done this year with welfare and self-help in sport, making sports teams more aware of services like NightLine and encouraging them to make use of them”.
For Emma, “it’s not what I personally would get out of it, but what I could do for other people. That would be my reward”.
Emma’s slogan, finally, is “in the game”.
Lois O’Toole is a third-year Politics and American Studies student running to be your next Sports Officer.
Lois is currently the chair of Intramural Sport (IMS) and a long-time member of the Welfare and Sport committee. She told Impact that she felt like running for Sports Officer was natural: “It seemed like a natural progression to run for sport.”
“My first manifesto point is to ensure that the sports officers are representative of the students,” Lois points out, recognising that the sports council could be more encouraging of the student voice.
“”£199 for sports membership at the start of the year is a big ask for lots of low-income students.””
Her main goal is to increase academic flexibility for students who do sports. Speaking from experience, she is forced to choose between university and sports commitments on numerous days during her week.
Lois also believes further research into a more flexible payment review should be done. She plans to look into a system that allows students who qualify to pay for the University’s gym membership in stages instead of parting with all of their money upfront. “£199 for sports membership at the start of the year is a big ask for lots of low-income students,” says Lois.
Lois praises Adam, the current Sports Officer, for the success of the welfare training programme. However, one of her manifesto points is to shift it from February to the start of the year, because the current timing is problematic for some students.
She plans to work with the current Welfare in Sport pledge, but intends to revert it back to an individual club pledge. She told Impact: “Different sports have different welfare needs. I think it’s important that we recognise what they do for the welfare and mental health of students.”
Lois’ slogan ‘Running for You’ highlights her commitment to student welfare.
Amirah de Bourg
Stuart Wharff is a third-year Sport Rehabilitation and Exercise Science student who is running to be your Sports Officer.
Talking to Impact, Stuart says that university sports really matter to him and that he has ideas to enhance the system. He supports the University’s objective of ‘Engage, Inspire, Excel’ – a motto he wants to bring across through his campaign.
Besides this, Stuart also wants to encourage inclusivity and participation, “I want to spread that message of participation throughout the whole University.” He already has a few ideas on how he will do this. For example, he wants to implement inter-sport taster sessions between clubs, and reward clubs for inclusivity and innovation.
“”Sport contributes greatly to your experience here at University.””
To make sports more appealing for every student, Stuart aims to expand Varsity. He said, “I want it to be a great experience for everyone around, for it to be an absolute showcase.” One way he plans to do this is by expanding advertising and promotion.
Regarding his experiences, Stuart is the President of UoN Men’s Basketball and regularly networks with members of UoN sports staff.
Stuart believes in the importance of having sport as a healthy balance to student’s educational studies. He said: “Nottingham is a great academic institution, but university is more than that, and sport contributes greatly to your experience here at University.” That is why he plans to establish a Sports Day that includes students and staff.
Concluding, Stuart told Impact: “It’s really exciting to hear different people, their opinions and views, and spread my message.”
Note: Peter Boyes did not attend the Media Day on 24th February.
Peter Boyes is a fourth-year student who is also running to be your next Sports Officer. Peter is part of the University of Nottingham Rowing Club, and has two years experience as their President.
Peter’s manifesto is centred around three areas: supporting club development, increasing the active student population, and reviewing processes and management bodies.
“Peter aims to ‘solidify and publicise funding and support opportunities to make them more accessible to groups.”
In terms of supporting club development, Peter aims to reintroduce and improve club forums, ‘offering a frequent and engaging platform’ for helping committees. Peter also hopes to develop the delivery training, ‘to increase the efficiency and effectiveness’ of staff and student time.
Peter plans to use the successes of national governing bodies as a springboard for introducing students to ‘organised, physical activities while at the University.’
On the reviewing of processes and management bodies, Peter aims to ‘solidify and publicise funding and support opportunities to make them more accessible to groups.’
To read the manifestos for your Sports Officer candidates, head to the Student Leader Elections website.
Featured image: Poppy Anne Malby
Images courtesy of Impact Images.