York Sport Committee Elections Guide

Still undecided? Nouse offers a complete guide to the candidates in this year’s York Sport elections

Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

Nouse brings you the complete guide to the candidates running for positions in the York Sport Committee this week.

Voting open until Friday at www.yusu.org/vote

Treasurer

Rosamund Wood

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

Participation in sports at York has many benefits, from increasing basic healthiness to providing a justification for dressing up in a ridiculous costume in Ziggy’s. Without the York Sport committee the variety of sporting activities and levels in which students can participate wouldn’t exist, and I’d like to be involved in maintaining and developing the facilities and opportunities we have, and encouraging as many people as possible to take part in something which offers huge enjoyment.

What are your policies?

Increased Budget Transparency: on a termly basis make available to all club treasurers what funding is available from York Sport, and where the money we have is being allocated

Closer Relationship with Fundraising: moving the position of York Sport Treasurer toward a closer partnership with Fundraising Officer and the Development and Alumni Relations Office to increase funding available to our sports clubs.

Treasurer Training: to allow the treasurers of clubs greater autonomy within their own budget allocation and to try and minimise the need for emergency bail-outs, thereby freeing up funding for club development.

What should Sport at University be about?

Enjoyment. From trying a new sport for the first time, through the rivalry of college sport, to thrashing Lancaster thanks to hours of training, sport at university should always be fun.

Who will you support more: big clubs or little clubs?

I don’t think the question here should be all about the size of the club. The new budget allocation system being implemented for the coming year will ensure that our big clubs receive enough funding, without throttling smaller clubs’ chances of development. As I’ve said before, I’d like to see the position of York Sport Treasurer work more closely with the Fundraising Officer– this is something I’d also like to see happen in club committees. I think we should attempt to support those clubs which try to support themselves.

Stephen Chu

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

Being an active member in sports and having great interests in finance, the position of York Sport treasurer was very attractive for me. It would get me more involved with the sporting community, and I believe I will gain very valuable knowledge for future references, having the opportunity to apply my expertise in a running organisation.

What are your policies?

My main interest will be the welfare of students, trying to broaden the incentives for students to take part in as many ports as possible financially. So besides from just the lack of interest in the sport, finance wouldn’t be a huge problem for students to attempt something that they have an interest in and prevent the development of a skill.

What should Sport at University be about?

I believe sport at University should truly be about the taking part. There are many sports that students would be trying for the first time, and every student should have the opportunity to sample each and every sport they wish. Competition is required at a certain level, but there needs to be an environment for students to progress before that level, which is why sport at university should be friendly and all about the taking part.

Who will you support more: big clubs or little clubs?

I strongly support the existence of big and little clubs, but I probably support the little clubs slightly more. This is because I believe it is the little niche clubs that make university sports unique. Sports such as football and rugby will always have supporters, but less heard of sports need a greater financial support to allow it to keep running and help publicise their existence to gain more members and general support.

Development Officer

Dane Moore

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

In short, I want to be a part of York sport on a bigger scale than just one club, full time. I want to put something back into York sport and help make sport, as a whole, a better experience for people and in turn this leads to better results.

What are your policies?

Increase participation in sport.

Emphasis on clubs advertising, targeting complete newcomers to a sport as well as previously experienced people.

Taster sessions encouraged after Freshers’ Fair.

Help introduce sports that are in demand by the members of our university. For example arranging dodge ball tournaments for Freshers’ week

Ensure success of the ‘Try Something New’ programme

What should sport at university be about?

Any given individual can’t answer this. I think that sport in University is purely based upon the individual’s desires. Some people may want a competitive direction in sport, taking part at top levels. For others it’s all about a more casual approach, taking part when they feel like it.

How will you get more people at York playing sport?

I think that the main task in order to promote sport in York is to show there are many sides to sports other than cliques and competitiveness. Sport needs to be shown to people in a light that makes it fun and where they can feel comfortable. This will go hand in hand with the ‘Try Something New’ programme.

Should college sport be weighted towards participation or performance?

In my opinion these two will inevitably link. Initially college sport is all about just taking part, having a good time enjoying sports with friends and in turn making new ones. However as people carry out sport they will undoubtedly increase in performance and this could result in an ability high enough for university level participation, therefore having college sport feeding into university sport.

Sam Asfahani

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

I take great pride in my sport, representing both university and senior level as well coaching Great Britian Youth in American Football. I understand the difficulty of playing a minority sport and attracting people
to try a new sport and want to help the university encourage more students to get into new activities.

What are your policies?

I want to help all clubs, especially smaller clubs, to produce effective publicity to attract new players to their sport.

I also want to encourage minority sports to get active within the community in order to raise the profile of their sport.

What should sport at University be about?

It should be about student athletes representing their university with pride. And it is the role of YorkSport and YUSU to encourage and help these students. We also must help other students to try new sports and activities in order to not only improve our community spirit but to also encourage a fit and healthy student population.

How will you get more people at York playing sport?

I want to help all clubs, especially smaller clubs, to produce effective publicity to attract more students to their sport.

Encourage more than one sports fayre throughout the year, creating an opportunity for clubs to advertise their sport to a wider audience.

Finally, we must work on increasing crowds at sports fixtures so that all clubs have a higher profile on campus.

Should college sport be weighted towards participation or performance?

College sport is one of the best things we have at York. Encouraging participation and improving college spirit, it is a great symble of our collegiate system. As a JCRC Chair, I believe that college sport is important towards getting people out of their kitchen and getting involved. I believe that college sport leads to performance and college sport is a great way for university clubs to discover talent. We should encourage more sports, that are capable, to create a college equivalent.

College Sport Officer

Paul Taylor

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

I am running for a position on the York Sport Committee because I want to make a difference to people at the University. College sport has provided me with so many opportunities to play sports I’d never even tried and enabled me to meet so many people during my two years here, and I want to help pass this feeling on. I also want to improve participation with greater advertisement, something which I helped to achieve on a smaller scale within Vanbrugh college while I was sports rep.

What are your policies?

My policies are firstly to sort out the college sport section of the York Sport website. This is yet to be used to it’s full potential and will help massively with the organisation of college sport at the University. Secondly I want to advertise the one day events much earlier. These are a great opportunity for people who do not play other sports to simply have go at something new, and without the early advertisement, these people usually miss out, with the same people competing every time.

Finally I want to push for new sports to be included in the inter college sport championship. Rugby and a football 3rds league are already part of the way there, so with some help we can look at ways of including these next year. I will also look at ways to trial other sports which have similar interest.

What should sport at University be about?

Sport at University should be about enjoyment. Particularly college sport, which is an opportunity for people who are either too busy, not interested, or not quite good enough for University level. University sport takes a big commitment, but is a great chance to make good friends and play at a competitive level. For me though, as an average sportsman at best, college sport has given me the chance to participate in every sport I could want to, and bought me great enjoyment too.

How will you strengthen the link and encourage movement from college sport to University sport?

I will encourage University captains to either participate or watch college sport as regularly as they can. I have been through this movement with football, and found it difficult to make. This is no-ones fault, it is purely that individuals who make the commitment at the beginning of the season should have priority over college sport players. I would encourage captains and presidents to also be involved in refereeing or umpiring college sports, as this is a great chance to talent spot, as well as develop a link between University and college level.

Will you push women’s football to become a greater college sport focus?

I would be interested in trialing a 5 a side league for women’s football next year. If that was to go well, with participation from all colleges, then I would look at ways of expanding it. But I believe that other sports
are much further along the line of development. For instance, due to the hard work of college presidents, I want to help continue the growth of college rugby. Men’s football 3rds already have a league which they have organised between themselves too, so I would prioritise these, while still trialing the women’s football.

Paul Guest

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

I feel that I am the right person for the role as my involvement in college sport for the last 3 years (and as sports rep for the last 2 years) has given me a great insight into all college sport. Having played in nearly every college sport and worked with all the captains of each sport as a sports rep, I have a good understanding of the different perspectives involved in college sport. Working with the captains of all the college sports and having a fair amount of communication with the sports centre, I understand what improvements are being looked for by both sides of the programme.

What are your policies?

All Sports reps will be given handbooks at the start of the year (these
will include fixtures and rules for every sport).

I want to work with the sports centre, together increasing involvement in college sport.

As I have helped do with College Rugby, I would find out which other sports are not officially college sports, but have the interest to become part of the college sport programme and help them achieve this goal.

I think there should be more recognisable awards, trophies and acknowledgement for both individuals and teams for their college sport achievements.

I will work with every college to ensure college sport recruitment drives in Freshers week next year, as well as set-up further events in spring and summer term.

The college sport points and tables will be updated regularly and being made available online and for all student newspapers.

What should sport at University be about?

Sport at university should primarily be about enjoyment! There must be a balance between involvement and competition. Making sport available to everyone, encouraging anyone to have a go at different sports is one of the main aspects of college sport. Then University level competition is where the elite players are able to compete.

How will you strengthen the link and encourage movement from college sport to University sport?

Good links between university and college sports are Barbarians matches that have been held already for both rugby and cricket. They have been seen as antagonistic on occasion, but I think they are a good way to give the most talented college players an opportunity to test themselves against the elite university players. Consequently the university teams could then scout any promising players and ask them to join their squad. Having more publicity and acknowledgement for college sport would be another way for the university teams to be able to be able to scout talented players.

Will you push women’s football to become a greater college sport focus?

After the one day tournament this year there was a lot of interest to push women’s football, so I would make it a priority. Find out just how much interest there is throughout all the colleges; then work with the sports centre, the Uni team and the college sports reps to decide the best way to further women’s football as a college sport. I would do this with any sport that has enthusiastic players who want to have their sport become a bigger part of the college sport programme.

College Referees Officer

Kate Copson

I am running for a position on the York Sport Committee as already, after just two and a half terms at University, I have taken on several organisational sports roles (particularly at college level) which I am thoroughly enjoying. I feel that being on the York Sport Committee would be the perfect opportunity to do more for college sport. I am currently a James College sports representative and am well aware of how college sport is organised and what could change for the better.

As a keen sporting fresher I feel that finding out about college sport is not as easy as it should be. I would like to change this by improving the publicity of college sport during fresher’s week. For James College I am
putting forward the idea of stalls outside halls for different college sports so that fresher’s can walk past and sign up. They will then be on a college sport mailing list and can be informed of training and fixture
times. If I was elected onto the York Sport Committee I would push for this to happen in all colleges. I also think participation in college sport is not as high as it should be. While college sport is taken seriously and
everyone wants to win, it needs to be made clear to everyone that the reason we have both college and University level sport is to increase participation, not so that the University players can do both.

How would you tackle the issue of abuse to referees? How far are you willing to back the ref when he/she faces dissent from players and/or the crowd?

After having played and watched several different college sports I have never come across dissent from the players strongly enough for it to be of concern. However, if this did start to occur it would be necessary to remind all players that college sport is meant to be fun and that the referees are there to enforce the rules, which, in turn, enforces fair play and enjoyment. If extreme cases were to occur then York Sport could ensure that all referees hold advanced and up to date qualifications. This would ensure a professional standard and should decrease any abuse aimed at referees.

To what standard should referees be expected to enforce the rules? Should they be as strict at a college level as they would at University level? How can you ensure consistency between matches?

In general I believe college sport should be refereed as strictly as University level sport in order to minimise disagreement and conflict. However, a good referee is able to judge the ability of the players and referee accordingly. It would be unfair to referee a college seconds team as strictly as the University firsts if they clearly are unaware of the rules or simply not at a good enough standard to be able to abide by them
properly. As long as the refereeing is fair on both sides I do not think it is a problem for college sport to be refereed according to the standard of the players.

Tournament Secretary (Two positions)

Isobelle Miller

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

After much participation in both university and college, sport I now want involvement on a broader scale; so that I can have a direct impact on the experience of others that want to partake in what York Sport has to offer.

What are your policies?

WIN AWAY ROSES 2010: If we win away Roses 2010 it will be the first time either university has won 4 years in a row. I’m determined to see it happen.

INCREASE SUPPORT IN LANCASTER: I intend to organise and make students aware of the transport available sooner, so as to attract greater support.

IMPROVE THE PROFILE OF VARSITY: Last year it was cancelled due to a backlog of fixtures, therefore in 2010 I want to bring it back in a big way. Thus, I would start arrangements with St. Johns early to ensure: Firstly, as many sports as possible can compete on the same day. Secondly, the variety of sports can be
increased, i.e. by including new clubs such as cheerleading. Thirdly, large crowds of supporters.

What should sport at University be about?

Whether it is competitive or uncompetitive, university sport should predominantly be about meeting new people, trying new things and learning new or developing existing skills.

Part of the role is to start planning Roses 2011. What would you like to see happen in 2011 bar a York win?

Roses as an event is growing year on year and I want to see this development progress to 2011. I would like to see greater publicity and more of the added extras that turn a weekend of sport into the ‘Roses
experience’, ensuring that the whole University turns out to support York Sport and our sports players.

Do you support the Varsity competition between us and York St. John, and if so how would you run promote the competition, given it’s cancellation this year?

I strongly support Varsity. As stated in my policies, I would start arrangements with St. Johns early to ensure: As many sports as possible can compete on the same day, the variety of sports can be increased, i.e. by including new clubs such as cheerleading and large crowds of supporters. I think Varsity has the potential of being as big as Roses, its profile just needs to be improved through good organisation and
publicity.

Adam Shergold

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport committee?

To make sure that our wonderful sports teams continue to receive everything they need, whether it be in terms of welfare, financial or other resources, to compete regularly at the highest level and achieve their aims. Fundamentally, to ensure all teams can prolong their enormous success during the last 12 months.

What are your policies?

As York Sport Tournament Secretary, I would ensure that our teams receive everything they need while in Lancaster for Roses 2010, allowing them to compete with confidence and deliver a fourth successive victory. This includes organising transport for York supporters at reasonable costs.

In addition, I would start laying the foundations for Roses 2011, creating a working committee exclusively for this purpose. Early preparations would ensure a repeat of this year’s highly successful event.

Returning Varsity to our sports calendar is another priority, expanding the tournament over a whole day (reminiscent of the Saturday at Roses) and incorporating as many sports as possible. In addition, increased publicity and media exposure would ensure this isn’t merely another BUCS Wednesday.

On a more day-to-day basis, I would take steps to make sure all sports teams have the resources and finances to compete in national competitions. The first step towards this is to make the York Sport committee more approachable to all clubs and improve communication with club presidents and coaches.

What should sport at university be about?

Winning…

Part of the role is to start planning Roses 2011. What would you like to see happen in 2011 bar a York win?

A well-organised competition that brings out the very best in both universities. So, scheduling which allows as many people to watch as possible, unforgettable social events on two evenings, higher publicity around campus, the very best media coverage and efficient stewarding (including removal of the litter left on 22 Acres). The early creation of a Roses sub-committee for 2011 will allow all potential problems to be overcome in good time, meaning a highly successful and well-appreciated tournament can be delivered.

Do you support the Varsity competition between us and York St. John, and if so how would you run promote the competition, given it’s cancellation this year?

I fully support Varsity and, indeed, would like to see it more valued, with more sports and athletes involved spread over at least a whole day. There needs to be increased publicity, both through propaganda
and the campus media to ensure Varsity isn’t merely another BUCS Wednesday. One of my first actions will be to guarantee Varsity will take place next year through communication with St. John.

Rory McGregor

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

I think my passion for sport is the main reason I am running for a tournament secretary. Although my major sport is rugby, I am a keen golfer, and have participated competitively at football and tennis. I feel my pro-active nature, organisation and persistence are all key qualities needed for success in this position. It is my aim to use these qualities acquired through my roles both in and outside the university to help all clubs within York Sport compete in tournaments throughout the year and arguably on the biggest university stage in Europe.

What are your policies?

Having participated in this year’s Roses, I can appreciate the effect big tournaments (and particularly big crowds) have on both participants and spectator’s university spirit. For this reason I would like to see the return of Varsity in the form of a one or two day competition with large university support. Similarly I would like to work closely with all individual clubs to enable one day competitions with both local clubs and universities.

In terms of Roses 2010, I think we all agree that we must go to Lancaster with an army of black and gold and enable them to see as many of the sporting showpieces possible. I would ensure preparations for the next home Roses in 2011 get underway immediately to allow for the best and most successful Roses possible.

What should sport at University be about?

Sport is a major aspect of university life. It creates healthy competition, drive, motivation and enjoyment. It is vital that all who want to participate in sporting activities are able to at a standard which suits them best, be it inter-college, or university level. However, I am firm believer that success creates enthusiasm and enjoyment, so we must strive to enable our teams to compete at the very highest levels.

Part of the role is to start planning Roses 2011. What would you like to see happen in 2011 bar a York win?

I have spoken to numerous students in numerous sports clubs about this year’s Roses. One of the grievances I found was due to the scheduling of events, therefore I would like to try and enable the major sporting events to be in time slots where others aren’t. The second grievance I found was due to the costing of the two events of the Roses weekend. I would like to work closely with both events and fundraising to enable more York Sport events throughout the year thus allowing tickets for the evening to be subsidised and a larger spectacle put on.

Do you support the Varsity competition between us and York St. John, and if so how would you run promote the competition, given it’s cancellation this year?

It is vital for Varsity to run this year; firstly because it would be a spectacle of sport that the whole university could be proud of; and secondly so we can prove yet again that there is really only one university in York. We have to work together with York St. John to arrange a date that suits both of us equally to enable the competition to go ahead. As previously stated I would like to see Varsity over a one or two day format similar to Roses with as many sports at all levels competing. I would work closely with communications so we can promote the event both around the university and around town particularly with our sponsors.

Communications Officer

Lewis Colam

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

I think that the York Sport committee does a great job in facilitating and promoting sport on campus and I would really like to get involved to help increase its effectiveness and raise its profile.

What are your policies?

Firstly I will ensure clear communication between York Sport and clubs. I think that the current system of using members of the committee to liaise with clubs is a good one but that in the past there haven’t been the resources to chase up any clubs that do not attend meetings or respond to emails. Therefore I will personally visit any club who is not responding to ensure that they know what the committee is doing and that their views are adequately represented. I will also have an office hour to give the clubs a new way of involving themselves in York Sport.

My second policy area will be to raise the profile of sport at York. This will be done by having an introductory article in one of the major campus newspapers to advertise the workings of York Sport. I am also a big fan of the York Sport show and I will continue it. Finally I will attempt to involve local media in some of the larger sporting events like Varsity. I hope that this raises the profile of campus sport to involve spectators from off campus.

What should sport at University be about?

I think that sport at University should have a cohering effect mixing people who otherwise may not have met and involving the students at large in support for the success of clubs in the BUCS leagues. Roses this year was a great example of campus-wide support for sports teams and I would like to use my role as communications officer to increase student support for clubs on a weekly basis.

How would a communications officer have helped this year?

I believe that a communication officer would have helped this year by ensuring that all the clubs knew what was going on within the committee and that all their views were properly represented. I think that when this did not happen it created friction as was seen in the rebranding incident. As previously mentioned, clubs that did not communicate with the committee were often left out and I feel that my role as communications officer will help to prevent this happening again.

Fundraising Officer

Thomas Weir

My main ideas are:

Helping clubs, particularly smaller and newly founded clubs, find as much sponsorship as they can. This can be from Bar, Kit, Taxi or any other possible avenues of sponsorship.

Work towards gaining a sponsor for York Sport, not to be imposed on unwilling clubs but help raise more money to support those clubs less well off.

Provide support for clubs fundraising events such as BBQ’s, raffles, drinks/food sales and other events.

Work with the communications officer and alumni services to get a greater level of communication and involvement with the former members of clubs. Particularly I would like to set up regular newsletters from each club detailing the goings on within their club.

Extend the sports nutrition sponsorship I brokered for the rugby team to include the whole of York Sport.

I have good experience of fundraising and sponsorship, and this year I have managed to negotiate a deal with Sci-Mentor Nutrition that is benefiting the rugby club. I have recently been working on producing an alumni newsletter for the old boys of the rugby club, as well as organising the rugby club Roses advertising in my role as Press and Publicity secretary.

As well as representing the rugby first XV this season I am an active college sports participant and always willing to try my hand at anything.

I feel I am the best person for this Job as I am committed, well organised, a good communicator and above all have a passion for sport. If anyone has anything they would like to ask me please don’t hesitate to get in contact, and I am always open to any ideas people might have to help.

Matt Thomas

Why are you running for a position on the York Sport Committee?

Over the past 2 years at the University of York I have always been involved in activities, ranging from college sports to competing for the university, that involve York Sport. I am dedicated to the progression of sports at all levels at university, and would like the opportunity to have an input in organising and developing this.

What are your policies?

Principally, I would like to obtain a sponsor for York Sport, not to beimposed upon all clubs, but to help further develop the progress of York Sport’ organisational capacity. In addition, I want to maintain the
sponsorship for Roses and pursue sponsorship to bring back Varsity. Finally, I would propose to act as a liaison with clubs to offer advice regarding gaining their own sponsorship deals.

What should sport at University be about?

Obviously sport at university should be enjoyable, however it is also essential that it is passionate, hard-fought, competitive and fair.

Should the emphasis be on increasing club fundraising or increasing York Sport fundraising?

I believe the role should entail gaining sponsorship to help York Sport develop its organisational capacity, however at the same time I propose to offer advice to clubs as to how to go about raising their own funds through sponsorship contracts.

One comment

  1. Vote Guesty and Rosie Wood!!!

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