As the current VP Sport I am really excited to be rerunning for this role!
I have really enjoyed taking on this challenge over the last year. Although things have been difficult with our sports clubs operating in a virtual capacity for the past few months, it has been amazing to see a continued engagement through social media and other virtual opportunities! As I have experience within in the role of VP already that would allow me to again support the next President and work to support next years Sports Forum and committees.
I have really enjoyed working with SPAT this year, particularly on Purple Wednesdays and especially seeing such an increase in engagement through our Lockdown League competition. Having been previously a member of SPAT in 2019/20 I know what an important role they play in supporting the development of our sports clubs as a whole.
I have lots of ideas for how we can continue to support and develop our clubs in the 21/22 academic year. Some of which can be found below.
I hope you will consider me your first choice for Vice President (Sport) and give me your votes once more.
Safe & Inclusive Sports Clubs
A very important priority with a return to campus looking more likely. I will I aim to ensure our Wellbeing officers continued be supported in their role and given access to information around university support services.
I also want to ensure our clubs feel like a safe and welcoming environment for all students. This could be done through partnership with different students groups or external organisations. This includes having more information sessions offered to clubs around inclusivity and diversity as well as continuing current work being done around tacking gender based violence.
Committee Recruitment, Development & Retention
Outside of university I have a lot of experience with volunteer development working with national organisations. I can offer this knowledge to clubs in order to help them with plans for establishing strong committees.
Focusing on how to first recruit members for committee positions then looking at how they can support and develop their existing committee members to give them the confidence to put themselves forward again.
I will also ensure there continues to be training and support for all committee positions throughout the year to help build relationships with as many different committee members as possible.
Support a Safe Return to Recreational & Competitive Sport
When possible, I would like to offer a supported return to sport for all clubs focusing on the different aspects of their sport that may have been missing over the past year of restrictions.
I know many of our clubs were unable to return in full capacity due governing body guidance and members will need support to build back skills and confidence when they are able to participate fully again.
This could be delivered through focused fitness sessions such as classes on building flexibility, strength or stamina. As well as offering fun and relaxed sessions for those looking to get back into or take up sport once more.
There is also an opportunity to use social media to share tips on health and fitness while off-campus to begin the groundwork for this.
All Club Social Media Engagement
Following the success of the past year in terms of social media presence, I want to make sure that engagement is not lost. First through ensuring the continued development of Purple Wednesdays as a way of highlighting as many different clubs as possible.
Secondly through supporting clubs to build their own social media presence. Another opportunity is to allow club takeovers at things like training sessions or competitions. These could be highlighted on Purple Wednesdays each week giving clubs more promotion and an opportunity to engage members with their social media.
Also ensuring all club events, including individual club fundraisers, are added to an integrated calendar where members can see what is happening and when so that the information is easy to find for all and planning can be done to avoid clashes and overlap where possible.
Engage with Sports Club Alumni
Many clubs have seen the benefits of engaging past members in fundraising over the last year. I also know that some clubs have had alumni coaches. It is important thing for all clubs to engage with alumni wherever possible so that the club can be supported by even more people.
Engaging with previous members can make it easier to fundraise and find coaches. It can also help clubs find sponsorship opportunities, raffle prizes and even venues for events.
It can also provide networking opportunities for current members and committee that could benefit them when they graduate or during their studies.