By Yousuf Khursheed
With polls open for the 2022 Strath Union Elections voting has begun to determine who will be taking the Union’s six most senior roles for the next academic year.
One role up for grabs is the Vice President of Sport position. Strath Union’s VP Sport is a full time member of staff payed £20,600 (per annum) to represent the interests of student sport.
The role focuses on implementing positive changes for elite student athletes as well as those who participate recreationally. Daily responsibilities taken on by the VP Sport may include listening to student feedback about sports facilities or clubs and promoting and organizing inter-university varsity competitions like the Glasgow Taxis Cup.
As well catering for those already involved the VP Sport is also tasked with initiating strategies to get new students to take part in university sport.
This year seven candidates are running to be elected for the position. With voting underway the Strathclyde Telegraph got in touch with four of them.
“I believe my experience in starting a brand new sport as a fourth year, my years having senior club committee positions (especially during covid where we needed to adapt quickly and effectively) and my time on Sports Executive learning and understanding the inner workings of the Sports Union set me apart from the other candidates.”
Fourth year pharmacology and microbiology student Kirstyn Beattie is the current captain of Strathclyde’s Equestrian Club and looks to continue to make her mark within the Strath Sports Union. Among a number of other manifesto pledges Beattie says she will provide more opportunities for first aid, refereeing and coaching courses. Additionally she promises to increase ties between the university’s free sports scheme “Strath Active” and sports union clubs in an attempt to increase club participation.
“I have played a lot of sports from my childhood and I was great team leader in school and university sports team. Also I had taken part in volunteering in many political parties and later on was part of two vice president of political parties (BJP). So, I thought it be a great platform to take Strathclyde Sports to new direction and making it much more better from skills and talents.”
International Postgraduate student Swapnil Goswami has come to Strathclyde from India to study at the University’s Business School. In his manifesto Goswami proposes sporting competitions between different branches of the university. As well as this, he puts forward organizing sporting activities that bring both students and staff together.
“I have a wide range of different experiences within sport and I believe that inclusion and community are really important. I would like to improve each student’s experience at Strathclyde so that they feel welcome and are encouraged to try new sports no matter their abilities.”
International Business and Spanish Student Ina Milne is a first team handball player running her campaign based on inclusion. In her Manifesto she pledges to develop inclusivity training for student sports clubs to ensure members of the LGBTQIA+ community can participate within a welcoming atmosphere. Milne’s other pledges include organizing come and try sessions with multiple sports clubs simultaneously present. She also promises to look into a financial aid solution for clubs training off campus at Stepps playing fields.
“What sets me apart from the other candidates is two things. First of all, I bring continuity to the role as someone who has been involved in the Sports Union since 2016, in that time I’ve been done basically every role that exists so I have a very well rounded skill set and depth of experience.
Secondly, as a member of the Sports Executive this year I have worked closely with the current Sports VP, as well as the staff team, and Student Executive – meaning I have a much better understanding of the Sports Union’s relationship with the Students Union, as well as being aware of the full scope of the role outside of just the sports union!”
Fourth-year Sports Engineering student and performance rowing coach Ronan Welch has the endorsement of current VP Sport Kirsty Bannatyne. In Welch’s manifesto he pledges to continue to supply discounted gym memberships for Strath Sports Union members. He also promises consistency in Strath Sports marketing to attract sponsors as well as the development of a long term sustainable growth plan for the organization.
Online voting is open until the midday on Thursday the 10 March. Students can vote for their VP Sport candidate as well as candidates for numerous other Strath Union roles through this link. Election results will be announced by the Strath Union on the 10 March at 18:00.