Union Council 25/10/10 Sabb Reports: Athletic Union President Teddy Wilkes

Being a Sabb is a weird job – you’re not quite a student, but you kinda are, you pay council tax but still live with your University flatmates; damp and spiders, and on a Wednesday you still go out but now you have to get up to be in the office for 9 (OK 9.30). However, you couldn’t find me a better job in the world right now, besides maybe an astronaut that gets to be a beer taster in his spare time.

With pre-season now well underway, fixtures slowly starting and BUCS matches just around the corner the campus is buzzing with sporting action. This year was the biggest bunfight ever with all the improvements that the team made helping teams sign up fresher’s in their thousands. All there is now is to retain our impressive top 20 placing in BUCS this season and improve on it!

It’s been a hectic summer with plenty to get on with in the Athletic Union. We’ve managed to get Focus Sports off the ground which is slowly picking up speed and taking off into something that not even I could have imagined it would become. We’ve got forty athletes working hard on programs that we set them to take them to the next level of elite sport. With a successful student centeredness application the Athletic Union secured £20,880 over three years to ensure that the program continues after my time as AU president. At the other end of the spectrum we’re setting the wheels in motion to get a program together to get more people interested in sport here in Southampton, particularly from under-represented groups within the Athletic Union, and having people have more opportunities to try more non-traditional sports that can offer something new and exciting to athletes. Further programs are planned to go a-head in the year such as the coaching standards committee, where the process of organizing and recruiting coaching staff at the University will be assessed by a panel of coaches from the Athletic Union and decisions will be made to guide clubs in hiring and paying coaching staff. Then there is the Celebration program where we will look to create a greater atmosphere of school spirit in the Union where student athletes and student athletics are celebrated and achievements of our clubs and individuals are acknowledged.

Other exciting things that have been going on are the plans for the Orange Rooms Southampton V Chichester Cup that was organized on the fly after we buried the Wahoo Cup because of poor communication from Solent University. This Athletic Union president believes that it was more the fact that “Sport” Solent feared the mighty Wessex and ran with their tails between their legs away from the thought of another humiliation at the hands of our sports men and women. (No actual ex-polytechnic university students were hurt in the process – just a slight bit of pride on their behalf) Plans for another decimation of Portsmouth University are also well underway with a late March Varsity event pencilled in. Further to that the Athletic Union are in talks with the Gif-TED people about getting the Gift-TED card in the hands of every student athlete at the University – making savings at the checkout and also making money back for their club with every online purchase.

Away from the playing fields I’ve been heavily involved with setting up and running the massive new night at the cube I Love College. It’s been a great first few weeks with a sell-out opening night and a great turn out in the second week and finally with a capacity night last Wednesday with our much talked about ball pit night. We’ve got so much more planned though for anyone venturing out on a Wednesday night: A foam party, big name appearances and an I Love College Tour 2010 taking off up Portswood high-street ending up with another huge night here at the Union! If you’re a member of a club or society you can double your fun with the Lash for Cash scheme with you earning money as you party. On any I Love College night when you buy a ticket, half is guaranteed to go to your chosen club or society on the night!

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