Grace Clarke

Image: YUSU

Image: YUSU

Third Year

Why did you decide to run for York Sport President?
I cannot think of any other job I would rather do. I absolutely love sport and I have loved my time at the University of York. This role encompasses the two and gives me the chance to give something back. A win-win situation! Being on a number of different sport committees during my time at University, I have been able to get an insight into how the York Sport Union operates from college sport (as an Alcuin Sport Representative), being President of the University of York Netball Club and being on the York Sport Committee.

Describe yourself in three words
Approachable, motivated and enthusiastic.

Sum up your main policies.
Remember, it’s ‘All about that GRACE.

G is for Getting Involved – encourage everyone to engage, as a spectator, volunteering, through social media platforms and by making sport more accessible with pop-up sports equipment around campus.

R is for Relationships – create presidential committees to discuss ideas, organise inter-club fitness sessions and give clubs greater support. I want to build stronger relationships with local businesses and the local community via regular sport insight sessions.

A is for Achievement – establish York as #Top35 in BUCS and promote success at both College Varsity and Roses by expanding the Focus Sport and pre-season development programmes.

C is for Communication – appoint a Press and Publicity officer to each club to help publicise each sport and develop better media representation with a weekly #BuilduptoBUCS, fixtures and results on screens around campus and a York Sport YouTube channel.

E is for Employability – develop better systems of acknowledgement and offer more skills courses to promote how skills utilised in sport are similar to those in the workplace and how they can help to launch a successful career.

What makes you different to the other candidates?
The ‘All about that GRACE’ policies combine a bit of everything, from increasing participation at a college sport and accessibility level, to high level performance! Sport is about being versatile, adaptable and all-rounded and I believe my policies reflect this. I am friendly, fun and fundamentally, love sport (if you hadn’t guessed already)! I truly care about the success and development of sport at York and will do everything in my power to ensure its progression as one of the top universities to attend, not only for its academic credentials, but also its sporting ones.

I love speaking to new people and listening to their suggestions and believe I would be the perfect person for this role. I am so passionate about sport at York and would love people to vote and support me!

What experience do you have that will be good for the role?
From my role as Tournament Secretary on the York Sport Committee and working alongside the current York Sport President, Cass Brown, I have had a direct insight into what it takes to run and coordinate a successful York Sport Union and believe this experience will be invaluable. Also, from this role, I have shown I am able to build a good working rapport with various levels of staff at the University.

I am currently President of the University of York Netball Club and previously held the role of Treasurer. I have had to source and negotiate sponsorship partners, chair weekly committee meetings, gain the organisational skills to keep within an allocated budget and deal personally and considerately with the welfare and running of the club. All of these situations have given me the necessary experience and preparation for the role.

As Alcuin College Sports Representative for two years, I have gained considerable insight into innovative and creative ideas to increase participation and engagement within sport. I really believe this all-rounded experience and knowledge has given me the leadership skills to run a successful committee and help other presidents with any issues they have.

What will you do differently to Cass Brown, the current York Sports President?
Cass Brown has done an amazing job this year and I hope to expand and build on the foundations she has put in place, for example physiotherapy, pre-Roses training camp and the scholarship and mentoring schemes. However, whereas Cass focused primarily on the elite athletes at York, I hope to take a broader approach to sport encompassing all areas of university life. Sport is an amazing way to meet new people, gain fundamental life skills, such as confidence and organisation, and enhance a student’s university experience. I realise not everyone is as passionate about sport as I am but I want to encourage everyone to engage in some way, not just directly by participation but through non-playing activities such as the media, volunteering schemes or as spectators.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I have played 11 out of 14 college sports and have participated in every One Day College Tournament sport. If I was voted York Sport President I promise to complete the set!

What do you think about the other candidates?
This year’s pool of candidates is extremely competitive, covering all areas of university life with lots of experience. It is going to be a hotly contested election and all I can say is best of luck to everyone!

What do you think the biggest challenge you’ll face during elections will be?
Having to sacrifice my daily eight hours of sleep!

What’s your campaign strategy?
I plan to speak to as many students as possible across all areas of university life. I believe face-to-face communication is the best method. I want people to get to know me, my policies, my passionate and enthusiastic approach and then vote for me because they truly believe I would be the best person for the job. I also want to bring some fun and style to the elections campaign with something new and exciting every day for people to look at (besides the parade of cardboard)!

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