President calls for greater University funding in sport

AU PRESIDENT Tom Moore has called for greater University funding for sport in order for York to become a more respected sporting institution.

In a recent interview, Moore spoke of the need for an academic department dealing primarily with sport to attract the best sportsmen and women to York. Such a move would follow in the footsteps of successful sporting universities such as Loughborough and Liverpool John Moores, who currently have numerous international competitors studying at their respective institutions.

“York don’t concentrate on sport as much as other universities; the students who come here don’t come for sport,” Moore said. “The University staff have been helpful this year, but there isn’t enough money.

“More money would mean better equipment and coaches, but when you start asking for it, [the University] start getting funny. Ideally, to improve we would have a department for sport, but York is a very academic university and Sports Science is not a very academic degree, so I don’t see it happening.”

The comments come in the final weeks of Moore’s sabbatical year as AU President, a year in which he has presided over many changes to the internal running of the AU.
“There were a lot of problems with the way things worked behind the scenes when I came in, but I think the Athletics Union as a whole should now be much more efficient,” he said.

Discussing the past year, he said, “I’ve loved every minute – it’s a lot of work and there are a lot of problems, but I think I’ve coped well and only had a few minor complaints from clubs. There have been times when I’ve been sitting in the office at 2 o’clock in the morning and wondering why am I doing this. When the work gets on top of you, it can be quite stressful.”

Moore picked out York’s Roses victory as the highlight of his year, and praised the performances of all the competing BUSA league teams throughout the year, with special mentions given to the Men’s Hockey, Tennis and Football teams and the Snooker and Pool clubs.

“A lot of high-risk non-BUSA clubs such as the canoeing and pot-holing teams have been very impressive,” he said, “and don’t get the same amount of recognition as the football, hockey and rugby teams.”

One of the main criticisms of the current AU has been its poor communication with its members. Moore denied this, saying, “I send all AU members at least five emails a week. I think if communication does need to be improved, then it’s between the committees and their respective teams. We want to spread AU news around and much of this – such as the AU Dinner – people don’t know so much about”.

He will now hand over control of the Athletics Union to President-elect Jo Carter later this year. He had this message for her: “The great thing about being AU President is you’re dealing with sport all the time, and you’ve got a lot of authority in the way sport runs.
“I’m now very knowledgeable about 56 sets of sporting rules and I’ve met so many people; running the AU has been a joy. My advice for Jo is to just enjoy it and not let the stress get to her. She’s going to be an absolutely fantastic president.”

Next season promises to be an interesting one, as York attempts to retain the Carter-James trophy in the Roses tournament against Lancaster.

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