Exec Elections 2022: Meeting Your Sport Executive Officer Candidates!

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Let’s meet your Sport Executive Officer Candidates – Ben Clubb and Sam Woodland – and see what they had to say when they sat down with Label and spoke about their campaigns!

Sam Woodland

What are the main points of your manifesto?

My manifesto focusses on three really keen areas. First one: empowering volunteers and giving them the autonomy to do what they want. Second: fostering diversity and inclusion and really working that into a central part of our strategy. The final one: really fuelling the legacy, really thinking about where we’re going to take the Sport EO role in the long term and not just thinking about this year and really setting it up for the future. 

What previous experience do you have which is important to the role?

I was previously a Club Committee Member and this year I’m the Rowing Club Chair as well so, I feel I’ve got a nice understanding in terms of how the AU likes to operate. I’ve also played IMS and social sport in the past. I’ve got a little bit of a grounding across those areas as well. In terms of wider experience for me, I had a placement at Nike so, I’ve got a bit of a commercial grounding in terms of the sport side of sports commercial business. In further afield again, I deliver performance programmes in New Zealand. I went over there to work and deliver some sport programmes over there. I feel like I’ve got a really nice, wide range of experience just as opposed to being Union focussed. 

In what ways will you promote sport across the College and University?

For me this is really important and I think it’s about promoting the whole sport offer. I think sometimes we can pigeon hole into certain, little areas but, I want to make it really important that sport is for everybody – not just for really, really talented people or, equally really keen people. There are actually ways to engage in sport even if you just want to turn up and do a MyLifestyle class or, you just want to turn up and play basketball with your mates. I think the really important piece there is sign-posting that and making it aware because, I think some people aren’t always clear about the breadth of sport that is on offer here. It’s really sign-posting those to people who might not want to engage but, really make sure that there is stuff available for them and sign-posting them towards it. 

How important do you think IMS is in adding to the University experience?

I think IMS is massive. I think when you come to a university like this, you could be a great player at your club and your school, and you come here and suddenly you’re way down the pack. It’s very easily that you could drift out of sport and to me, that’s like the worst thing. I hate seeing people drift away and to me, IMS is that safety net that you can sweep up and still take part in loads of different sports. If you’re an AU Athlete, you might only be able to do one, or maybe two if you’re really stretching. Whereas IMS, if you want to take part in six different sports – you can. You can go and do Badminton and Football or Basketball. You can play in a competitive league as well which I think is a massive thing for a lot of people. I think one of the really strong points about IMS is the competition – it’s the bit which probably keeps people involved. I think that’s really important and I think IMS is massive here.

Ben Clubb

What are the main points of your manifesto?

The first point of my manifesto is that I want to make big games bigger. I want to push the University to increase the seating, the venues – I want to advertise big games more so people know where and when they are. I also want to listen to the students so, I want to bring the AU and sport in Loughborough back to the students and really push it for them. Something I think is crucial is the transparency of the AU. A lot of students and committees of AU Clubs don’t understand what’s going on and who to talk to so, I really want to push this with social media and more committee training to understand what happens day to day. 

What previous experience do you have which is important to the role?

I am currently on the committee of Loughborough Sno. I’m the Head Race Captain so I organise the BUCS Fixtures and deal with the Union, organise the transport, sort out the budgets, I sort out the performance programme and the SDC budgets. I was also a Fresher Helper and on the Elvyn Committee to help run their Fresher events and Freshers’ week. From that I learnt skills in communication, organisation, meeting new people and time management as well. 

In what ways will you promote sport across the College and University?

I want to really push the advertisement of big games for AU fixtures – like rugby, hockey, football. I also really want to strengthen the pathways between social sport and IMS, AU and Performance. I want send more scouts to IMS games, I want to advertise IMS as being a pathway to AU, especially for halfway through the year. 

How important do you think IMS is in adding to the University experience?

I think IMS is really important. For me, I’ve found it’s a great, fun social side to sport and it’s not too competitive – it still has that competitive edge. I play rugby for IMS and it’s got the social side: I’ve made loads of friends, it’s something to do on Sunday. It really increases your teamwork skills and lets you work with people you’ve never met before.

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