VPSW Elections: Interview with Dave Yates


What do you think is the biggest problem facing sport/wellbeing at Strathclyde and how do you plan to resolve that problem?

The Sports Union is an amazing organisation for members. It holds loads of social events, provides structure and funding for student sport, and gives students the opportunity to represent Strathclyde nationally. However, sometimes the Sports Union can be a bit of a closed group. Many of the benefits and activities of the Sports Union are not immediately obvious to those who don’t seek it out themselves.

I will make the Sports Union more open and visible to students. In addition to the already established socials (bus crawl, take me out etc) I will create events for non-SU students to meet us, drink with us and generally get to know us. I will also make inclusiveness training available for club committees so they can explore ways to increase their club’s reach and membership.

In this way I will make more students aware of what happens in the Sports Union and by doing so I will increase our membership even further!


How does your previous experience in the Union qualify you for the role of VPSW?

In my first year at Strathclyde I joined the kendo club, as part of the club’s very first intake. I was part of the club when it became an associate and then an affiliate section of the Sports Union, and am now club captain and able to focus on ensuring our success on a competitive level. I am also the Active Member on this years’ Sports Executive, a role that requires me to have a constant awareness of what is going on within the SU and be able to help out wherever necessary. I know what clubs need at every level of development, and I know exactly how to support both new and established clubs in achieving their goals. I also know how the Sports Union runs and how to get things done. This is reflected in my manifesto, as every single one of my campaign promises is feasible and realistic to achieve within a year in the role.


What do you offer that the other candidates don’t?

The role of VP Sports and Wellbeing is not just Sports President, but sometimes people believe that it is. This is reflected in the candidates’ manifestos that are available online – I am the only VPSW candidate who is focusing on the wellbeing side as much as sport. This means that for students who aren’t members of the sports union, I am the ONLY candidate whose policies will benefit them. Even for Sports Union members, I believe it would be a real shame to elect someone into the role of VPSW who intends to neglect 50% of the role.

I will make sure that there are suitable facilities for students pulling a long shift in university. This means water points on every floor of every university building, plus kettles and microwaves in every common students’ area. I will also reward and incentivise sports clubs for mental health campaigning and fundraising, and will work with VPVD to do the same with non-sports clubs.


What has this year’s VPSW done well and what needs to be improved?

Ann-Marie has done a fantastic job of running the Sports Union and keeping it organised. Take Me Out and the Healthy Body Healthy Mind campaign were both bigger and better this year than ever before. However on the club side of things funding requests could be clearer and storage needs to be improved.

Club storage right now is not being used to its full potential and clubs are suffering as a result. As the Sports Union grows this is only going to get more serious. I believe an active reshuffling of existing facilities will allow clubs to cope much better until the new building is completed.

I am currently in the process of restructuring the funding supports guidelines for clubs, as part of the SU finance committee. If I am elected VPSW next year then I will be in an excellent position to make sure that clubs know exactly how to apply for funding, and know what to expect from their requests. This will put clubs in a much better position for planning ahead with regards to events and expenditures.



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