Campus Reporters

Meet the Candidates: Sports Officer – Izzi Norman

Izzi Norman is running to be UoN’s Students’ Union’s Sports Officer for the 2020/21 academic year. Impact‘s Isabelle caught up with her to ask her a few questions.

How important do you believe sports is to university life?

I think sports are hugely important at university! We have one of the biggest sports programs in the country and so many opportunities to get involved with. Not only does it keep people active and healthy, but it is so important for people’s general wellbeing.

It is also social and fun and engages people in university life. All of this is important to student experience and therefore the university as a whole and even though not everyone participates directly in sports, its presence has a very positive impact on university life.

Why do you think the role of Sports officer is important to the SU?

The role of Sports Officer is important as sports is a huge part of many students’ lives, even for those who participate more casually, with it being the SU’s responsibility to ensure that students get the most out of university and therefore sport.

The Sports Officer is essential because sports is a vast and complex section of the SU and requires a staff member dedicated to it to ensure that it continues to function and have the positive impact on student life that it already does as well as to continue to improve it so that it benefits even more students.

“My manifesto is focused on improving the student experience in all aspects of sports with an emphasis on support and wellbeing, inclusivity, and accessibility”

What do you believe you could bring to the Sports Officer role that others may not?

As Sports Officer I would be dedicated to improving sports across the board. As the President of Women’s Basketball I have participated in both IMS and Engage meaning I appreciate the huge benefit ALL of these bring to students.

My manifesto is focused on improving the student experience in all aspects of sports with an emphasis on support and wellbeing, inclusivity, and accessibility. I want sport to benefit everybody. Furthermore, I have spoken to a range of people involved in different aspects of sports to inform my manifesto, determine what is needed by the students, and decide the best way to address these.

I have also spoken to the relevant people to further my understanding of UoN sports specific structures as well as the SU to ensure that my policies are realistic and deliverable.

You talk in your manifesto about wanting to employ a Welfare Officer within UoN sport. Why do you think this is important and beneficial?

Student welfare is of the utmost importance to me, the university, and the students. Sports is both a means through which students can access and receive support meaning welfare must have a big presence to ensure inclusivity and accessibility.

Both Welfare in Sport and the club Welfare Officers do a great job of providing this, however they are both student-led. A staff member would reinforce the importance of welfare within sport and be able to enhance the pre-existing structures and expand the welfare provisions within sport.

The welfare structure facilitated by a staff member would ensure more access points for students seeking support and an increased atmosphere of student welfare as a priority.

“The ‘Club of the Month’ scheme is a great way to show people the amazing things that are being done by sports clubs”

You mention in your manifesto your plans to increase the visibility of sport at the university. How do you plan on achieving this?

I would take a multi-faceted approach to celebrate the huge range of activities and achievements of those participating in all areas of sport at UoN. The ‘Club of the Month’ scheme is a great way to show people the amazing things that are being done by sports clubs and I will expand the online recognition to include a wide range of sporting achievements.

Furthermore, I will give sports a bigger physical presence in the Portland Building through banners and signs which will bring green and gold into the Students’ Union and showcase its importance to university life.

You talk about wanting to explore options for a national league. Why do you think this would be beneficial to UoN Sport?

There are many clubs that already do or want to participate in National League competition as well as BUCS, however, it is often expensive. The clubs that do it have a large financial burden every year and often this means increased membership costs for participating student.

National League is hugely beneficial to UoN sports because it provides more opportunities for students to play and develop their skills and expand their clubs. Finding a way to support NL clubs to be financially stable through external funding/ sponsorships would mean that the university would have more clubs participating in national league.

This would mean better clubs with more opportunities without the higher prices of increased memberships which can be a huge barrier for students wanting to get involved.

Voting for the 2020 SU elections closes at 3pm on Monday 11th May.

The link to vote for the 2020 Students’ Union candidates is here.

Isabelle Raikes

Featured image courtesy of Nina Shasha.

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