WITH FOUR candidates running for AU President this term it promises to be one of the most fiercely contested elections in recent years. Current President Stuart Leslie commented that he was “pleased to see so much competition for the post this year; it is longer than I can remember that there have been so many candidates.” As a result Neil Stevens, Dave Humphrey, Emily Wood and Nik Engineer face a gruelling campaign.
As Vice-president at the moment, Nik Engineer hopes to step up to the sabbatical post next year, and expressed surprise that he was the only candidate with experience of AU Exec. He sees his experience in his current role and as College Sport Refs Co-ordinator as vital to his chances, especially because of his success in these posts. Emily Wood is at present President of the Netball club and also Treasurer of this year’s Roses committee, but also wanted to stress her multi-sport background as key to her suitability as a future AU President. Dave Humphrey is President of the Parachute club, and put emphasis on his experience in organising trips abroad for the club as well as increasing membership whilst he has held this position. Neil Stevens, Captain of York University’s Men’s Hockey seconds, advertises himself as a “keen sportsman” who wants to “encourage an increasing participation by students” in the sports offered at York.
Humphrey, Wood and Engineer each expressed interest in reviewing the AU’s approach to transport in varying ways in order to save much needed funds. More independently, Humphrey talked about ideas to improve merchandise value and quality to get a better deal for sports clubs, as well as a promise to improve participation in one-day college sport events.
Wood revealed plans to develop an AU Sports Development Officer, a new post within the Athletic Union, as well introducing coaching and refereeing courses to help clubs sort out problems in these areas internally, and solve the biggest problem in college sport; “where are the refs?” Engineer’s more unique ideas included an emphasis on improving the AU’s online facilities, such as membership online to get what is currently badly used information into a database quickly, as well as setting up an AU newsletter via e-mail. Stevens spoke about the insight his current position has given him into the lack of emphasis on the “integration of college sport with university sport” and intends to improve scouting so that there is less wasted potential and more college players moving up to university level.
Of course these are just a few of the policies on show and the candidates will be under closer scrutiny over the course of this week.