Label met up with Tom Haslam and found out about his manifesto points and the new ideas he wants to bring to the role.
Why are you running for this position?
I am running for this position because I am passionate about Loughborough Sport and Loughborough itself. I want to give something back to Loughborough Sport for the great time they have given me, and I want to give students the best student experience, as I am so grateful for the experiences that I have had.
What makes you well suited to this role?
I think having been a Chairman of an AU club and knowing what goes on in a club is really beneficial to me, such as knowing how to deal with a problem and what channels to go through when dealing and tackling various issues, as well as knowing how best to move a club forward.
Can you tell us about your campaign theme?
My theme is Thomas The Tank Engine Haslam, so there is a lot of blue going on, and I hope it appeals to people’s childhood, as obviously it was/is a classic.
In one sentence why should people vote for you?
People should vote for me because I am passionate about Loughborough and Loughborough Sport and I am dedicated to giving people a great sporting and student experience, and I want to move Loughborough sport forward and continue its great legacy.
What is the most important aspect of your manifesto?
I think it would be wrong to single out just one point of my manifesto, as the three parts that make my manifesto are all equally as important.
You have got the facilities side of it and the inclusion side of it, such as getting people to play more sport, which then requires more facilities. One of the changes that has been made this year is that they have changed the EHB rubber crum to flat crum, so you can play hockey and lacrosse on there, and I think that that is something that we need to continue with, and obviously we have the best facilities here, but there still needs to be more changes in facilities in order to get more sports moving forward, and in order to make sure we continue scoring high in BUCS, and in order to do that we need more sponsorships.
You see lots of other Uni’s having CWP sponsorships, and some of our teams don’t have an individual sponsor, obviously we have kukri, but that’s not going to generate anything extra on top of what we already have, so I think that’s pretty directive, I want to have more sponsorship.
Then there is the spectator element, which is a massive one for me. Obviously it’s no secret to anyone who plays AU sport that having a big crowd cheering you on, or a full balcony, or a full side of a pitch is hugely beneficial in a game. I think it’s really important that everyone playing gets the atmosphere that they want. I went down to see hockey play last week, and didn’t even mention my plans for increasing spectatorship, but they had said to me that they were playing at 1pm, had drawn their match, but there was no one there. It does have a massive impact if you’re playing and people are making noise and cheering you on, and it can push people over the finish line.
I also want to integrate clubs better, such as supporting each other, and generating a stronger social element, so not just socials and HeyEwe, something along the lines of an end of year sports days between clubs, that joins the clubs together, to make it more about “Loughborough Sport” not just individual clubs, and making it one big Loughborough Sport family.
What are you most looking forward to about campaigning?
I am looking forward to everything about campaigning and am looking forward to it all getting started, and I kind of wish it was getting stated sooner! Going out and meeting people and finding out what they think about Loughborough sport and what they feel should be changed is something I can’t wait to do. Just meeting lots of different people, and letting everyone see what we’ve got in store.
What are you least looking forward to?
There’s nothing really that I’m not looking forward to, a lot of people talk about the late nights and early starts, but that’s all part of the process and I’m just going to try and embrace it all.
What do you think will be the most challenging part?
Getting to see everyone that I could possibly see, but I’ve got good time management so hopefully I will be able to do as much as I can.
What part of campaigning are you going to focus on most?
I think it would be wrong to focus on one aspect in particular as both door knocking and social media are important. Obviously social media is imperative as pretty much everyone is on facebook, twitter and Instagram, and that gives us great scope to get people’s attention. But going to see people face to face and speaking to them will be great, I think that really makes a difference hearing what people have to say, as I think people really appreciate having their voices heard.
What have you spent your budget on so far?
Paint, paint, and paint. Paint has featured heavily.
What made you want to run for this position?
A lot of people at my Tennis club have told me I would be really good for the role, and when I have been in the office with Steffan and seeing what he does and hearing how passionately he talks about the role it made me really think and realise that this is something that I really want to do.
What do you like about the way the role has been carried out so far?
The role has been carried out great this year, especially with the return of the big match which is obviously fantastic and that’s why I want to carry it forward and really do more of that. There is an approachable nature to Steffan, where you can just send him an email and how will get back to you, and has had a really positive approach in moving Loughborough forward which is something I wish to continue, in order to maintain relationships, and developing in BUCS and moving Loughborough forward.
What new ideas will you be bringing to this role?
Obviously within my manifesto I want to introduce new things, such as the spectatorship side of things, and getting everyone feeling like they can come down and watch a match, and make it the norm for people to spend their Wednesdays watching a match and cheering teams on, just making everything more inclusive, and making it easier for people to get involved.
What’s an interesting fact that people may not know about you?
I am a football commentator and I commentate at Leicester city football club for people who are visually impaired.
What three characteristics do you have that make you well suited to this role?
I’m a good leader, and I have had a successful year as chairman with my club, I am hard-working and I am a good listener, and always take peoples ideas forward, such as my teams, or in this case Loughborough sport as a whole.
This interview was conducted by Louise Burt, Label Editor.
If you want to find out more about Tom, click here.