York Sport President Sam Asfahani has revealed plans to give JCRCs additional college sport funding to the tune of £900 per year, with the first instalment to be paid in January, saying “a completely free and accessible system is what we are working towards”.
Currently, that amount is taken directly from the JCRCs’ YUSU block grant to cover various costs associated with college sport but, after a year of healthy fundraising and sponsorship, York Sport is able to finance college sport without taking a chunk out of JCRCs’ budgets.
JCRCs won’t however have a completely free reign over how the money is spent. Any expenditure will have to be given the green light by both the York Sport College Sport Officer and College Sport Referees Officer, positions which will next year be filled by Francesca Hall and Charlotte Winter respectively.
Hall sees the announcement as an encouraging indicator of the improvements which have been seen in college sport of late: “It goes to show how much the profile of college sport has been raised and gives it far more opportunity to develop in the future.”.
In addition to these proposals to give JCRCs direct financial backing for college sport, discussions with the University’s Registrar and Secretary David Duncan have led to the decision to ditch the £5 college sport membership.
Matt Jenkins, Chair of Derwent College JCRC, welcomed the plans: “All funding for the college is vital. This year in particular we have really struggled with subsidising college sport. Now we can look forward to running cheap sessions for all the sports in which Derwent compete, hopefully getting more people involved in the process, whilst providing much more quality equipment”.
Joe Boughtflower, Derwent Sports Rep, agrees with his JCRC colleague and sees his college using the money to invest in all-important equipment which will in turn promote increased levels of participation: “It should help in providing enough basic equipment for each of the sports so that anybody can play. We will probably spend a lot of the grant on that sort of equipment that makes college sport more inclusive and open to everyone.”
Asfahani believes that the JCRC cash injection will give the Sports Representatives who sit on the colleges’ JCRCs some much-needed autonomy to push college sport on in the direction which they see as most appropriate as well as increase.
“The biggest complaint is that sports reps in JCRCs don’t feel empowered by the college sports system. College sport is our big objective next year. A completely free and accessible system is what we are working towards”.
Vanbrugh Sports Rep Megan Phillips was delighted with the plans, echoing Asfahani’s words regarding the importance of accessibility saying: “It’s fantastic to know that we’ll have that £900 which will be completely down to us to use in the way that we see fit, and we will really be able to reach out to people who don’t currently participate in college sport.”
The outgoing College Sports Officer, Mark Lund, echoed the sentiments of many: “It allows college sport reps to determine and act on what benefits each colleges’ sports the best, and removes the restrictions the College Sport Officer currenty has in allocating the resources.”
The announcements come after Asfahani disclosed plans to abolish the current £40 fee for York Sport membership from 2012, first revealed by Nouse Sport back in February.