Label got to know Luke Thomsom in order to find out more about his experiences that he believes makes him well suited to this role, and to hear about the new ideas he wants to bring to Loughborough sport.
Why are you running for this position?
This has been something that I have been looking forward to doing for a couple of years. I was first on Athletic Union Exec and that gave me my first taste of the AU, and it was something that massively appealed to me and I really enjoy working at all levels of Loughborough sport, and it’s the reason that I feel that I can make a big difference.
What makes you more suited than other candidates?
I think the big thing for me is that I have got experience above and beyond in terms of just Loughborough. Last year I was on placement at the biggest sporting charity in the UK, called The Football Foundation, and a lot of experience that I have gained has come from that. It taught me a lot of time and project management skills and finance and sporting plans, which I want to now come back and apply to VP Sport. I think VP Sport is quite operational and I would like to take it kind of up a step to that strategic level.
Can you tell us about your theme?
I am doing Luke “Skywalker” Thomson, and my motto is May The Force Be With AU. We’ve got a lot going on, and a lot of things planned, and as I said I’ve known that I want to run for about two years so I’m at the final stages of my planning now. There is going to be a lot of different characters going round, and we’ve got a new innovative idea that I don’t think anyone has done with t-shirts before, which should be really exciting, and it’s going to be really fun and we’ve got a massive campaign team helping out.
What’s the most important aspect of your manifesto?
Without being generic, I think all three points are really really fundamental, and I want to be able to implement all three of them. I think the one that will effect the most people is going to be the pathway from IMS to AU, because IMS is a very separate entity and a lot of people go and play with no real expectation that they can progress onto playing AU. I think for certain clubs it works really well, I know for Netball they picked up three out of the five players they looked at in trials, so for them it works really well. Volleyball also did it, Handball needed a goalkeeper and they went to IMS. So, for some clubs it works really well, but there are a lot of clubs that that pathway is a little bit dysfunctional, and what I want to do is revisit that and make sure that a pathway is created, as well as incorporating my Lifestyle and Societies and Departments, which are going to soon become big forces in sport, so I want to get them involved with the pathway early on.
In one sentence why should people vote for you?
I think without being arrogant I am the most qualified candidate, I do have the most experience outside Loughborough and a really good understanding of the AU, and I think I’ve got a lot to bring to the role and some really great manifesto points that can be put into action next year.
What are you most looking forward to about campaigning?
I think probably just meeting so many people, that will be the biggest thing. As well as the bubble debate, as that is an important part.
What are you least looking forward to?
A lot of my friends are also running for this position. There are three out of the eight of us on the AU Exec who are going for the same position. So we’ve all got the same friends, which is difficult for people close to us as they’re stuck in-between it all. So that is going to be the hardest thing.
What part of campaigning are you going to focus on the most?
We’re looking to do everything, and cover all the basics, as they’re all fundamentally important-so knocking on doors, utilizing social media, doing lecture shout outs and visiting dining halls are all so important, and you have to do all of them.
What have you spent your budget on so far?
The majority of my budget has gone on costume, and other than that things like paint, tape and sweets have been the main expenses.
What made you want to run for this position?
I think having run for positions within the AU Exec gave me a real taster for what was on offer, so I ran for events co-ordinator on the AU Exec at the end of my first year and served it over second year. I then re ran on my placement year and currently hold the position. It got me thinking about whether being VP sport was something that I wanted to do, and whether I would be good at it. Seeing the enjoyment Louis Timms got out of it when he was AU president and how well Steffan has taken to it as VP Sport was a big thing for me, as I got to see the enjoyment and responsibility that they got out of it, and I wanted a role where you could make a difference and be creative, and being able to represent the best sporting university in the country was a big push for me.
What do you like about the way the role has been carried out this year?
I think Steffan is a very personable person, and what he’s bought to the role has a lot to do with his character and a lot of club chairs have a great relationship with him, and feel like there is a great level of support, which is a fundamental aspect of the role, and he has done that brilliantly.
What new ideas will you be bringing in?
Well there are a few. One of them is wanting to readdress the payment of student coaches, which is an issue that has been talked about in the past, but not so much recently, and it’s something that a lot of other universities are doing and is something that we should be doing, in order to attract the best student coaches that we can, and recognise the efforts that they are putting in.
Another thing for me is data, and it is an interesting thing and one that not many people will have knowledge on. The thing is, is that Loughborough doesn’t really collect data on it’s athletes and its facilities, and it is a complex topic, and I’ve written up a 2,000 word report on it, which I will push out when my manifesto goes live, and it will be available on social media, so if people are interested they can look there are read more about it.
Can you tell us something that not many people know about you?
I play a very, very strange sport called Wall Ball, which is an emerging sport in the UK, and it’s very big out in America, and I came second in the World Championships in the Under 23’s two years ago.
What three characteristics do you have that make you well suited to this role?
Firstly I am very ambitious as I have big plans for Loughborough and Loughborough Sport. Secondly I would say that I am very driven and I make plans and carry them out, and lastly I am very organised.
This interview was conducted by Louise Burt, Label Editor.
If you want to find out more about Luke and his manifesto, click here.