Meet the VPS candidates

The Guild elections take place between 2-9 March 2012 and every candidate is furiously trying to gain as many votes as possible before the results are announced on 10 March. This year, there are three candidates for the Vice President for Sport position. The VPS leads sports societies, widens sports participation and represents all students' sporting interests. Redbrick Sport writer James Newbon talked to them...

Guive ‘Ask Geeves’ Shafie

What are your manifesto pledges?

I have four pledges that make up ASKG.

A is for affordable pricing for sports facilities. S is for a sports tab on my.bham that will enable you to book facilities and check results. K is for kick start BUCS in Birmingham to bring the BUCS champs to Birmingham in the next three to four years which will tie in with the new facilities. G is for growing our sporting healthy community. This would involve working with the Welfare Vice President to have sports demonstrations on the Vale or maybe even healthy cooking demos and more advertisement of sports opportunities.

Why do you want to be vice president for sport?

It started in my second year when a close friend was VPS and from that I got to know what the role entailed and how they have to manage the balance between UB Sport (AU) and the Guild. Sport is a passion of mine and something I would like a future job in; I see this as a good opportunity for that so I’d be crazy not to take it.

What sporting experience do you have?

I’ve been playing water polo since I was 7, so when I came to university I took it up. I was also involved in swimming at BUCS level for one year. At Water Polo I was secretary and captain for a year each. And in my year abroad I trained with a professional water polo team in France.

When I first came to university, I wanted to take up different sports so I tried American football and volleyball but obviously water polo had to take precedence when there were clashes so I’ve ended up focusing on that with some swimming as well.

What do you think you can bring to the role?

From playing with the professional team in France I understand the differences between the French professional set-up and the amateur set-up in England. That will help with the differences in set-up between the profit making AU and non-profit making Guild. I also have experience working with the AU when helping to hire a new water polo coach.

I also bring passion for sport with hard work and commitment and I am motivated to push my policies through.

What are your plans for the campaign?

The first day didn’t go very well: after having had BUCS semi-finals all weekend it was a little unplanned and disjointed. But I plan to get my name out there through lecture shout-outs, talking to sports teams. I also have the gimmick of ‘Ask Geeves’ which means I can dress as a butler. And the water polo team might do something special on Friday but that’s still in the works.

Tell us in five words why you should be VPS

[To provide] Elite infrastructure whilst raising participation.

Tom ‘Top Gear’ Garry

What are your manifesto pledges?

Firstly, to save students money with a loyalty card at the Munrow Sports Centre, both for those that are in teams and anyone that signs up for the gym, so that they can get discounts.

Secondly, to use student media to promote our teams as well as possible. We have fantastic teams at this University and I want to highlight that through things like video highlights online, a live score sports app, and events similar to Explosion but for other sports as well so that everyone have their moment in the spotlight.

And thirdly, to increase healthy living through things like more bike racks on campus and lower calorie options in Joe’s bar.

Why do you want to be vice president for sport?

I want to leave a lasting legacy towards University sport and change the culture to make people want to get out and support our teams. On a personal note I think it would be a fantastic experience and that I have the skills to achieve a lot in a year that I can take pride in.

What sporting experience do you have?

I am currently Head of Sport for Burn FM and I contribute to Redbrick online. In the past six years I have been on 16 committees, 10 of which have been for sport, in roles such as club match secretary and fixtures’ secretary. I run local leagues in Milton Keynes and I work for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) as a tournament official organising tournaments. As part of that I was selected to help organise tennis at the Olympics as a senior tournament official.

Playing-wise, I played tennis to county level and captained hockey, football and cricket at school. I also did triathlon until shin splints put a stop to it. I just do sport, sport, sport.

What do you think you can bring to the role?

I hope that I can bring professional experience from my work with the LTA. From this I have learnt what it’s like to have to discuss and negotiate, which will help in liaising between the Guild and AU. I have also gained experience in marketing and organising competitions, which I intend to do a lot of to promote our teams. I will bring passion and enthusiasm as I love Birmingham and watching our teams; even travelling to away matches to watch and commentate.

What are your plans for the campaign?

I have the Top Gear theme and have a Stig costume. There will be a Facebook event inviting people to meet or have their picture taken with The Stig. As well as door knocking and lecture shouts, I’ll be talking to teams to try and get feedback on what they want.

Tell us in five words why you should be VPS

To leave a lasting legacy.

James ‘And the Giant Peach’ Hughes

What are your manifesto pledges?

I have three pledges. One is to increase participation in sport through participation wings at all sports clubs. A second is to lobby in order to decrease gym fees and to make them more flexible through one month and fortnightly fees as well as fee freezes over student holidays. A third is to have a more sporting Guild that works with Munrow, targeting linkage between the two so as to represent students better in sport.

Why do you want to be vice president for sport?

I believe I am dedicated towards sport at University. I am driven and organised yet also fun and easy to work with. Consequently, I think I can get the best results.

What sporting experience do you have?

I am involved in two clubs at the University. One is the Athletics and Cross County club and the other - which is my real passion - is Cool Runnings. It is because of Cool Runnings that I believe that all sports should have participation wings so that anyone can come and join sport and feel involved for a lower price.

On a personal level I am a cross country runner at BUCS level.

What do you think you can bring to the role?

Because I have been in touch with two clubs, I know how the AU runs. Things like kit ordering, sponsorship, booking track facilities and the problems that these entail. I know about these things and can therefore deal with, and fight to improve, them. It’s about the little things when running a club.

What are your plans for the campaign?

You might see me darting around in a peach costume to represent James and the Giant Peach. You’ll see huge banners around campus and you never know I might be giving out some peaches on Thursday and Friday.

Tell us in five words why you should be VPS

Sport should be student-led

 

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James Newbon



Published

2nd March 2012 at 3:12 pm

Last Updated

2nd March 2012 at 3:12 pm



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