Sport has always been a huge part of my life, it has given me opportunities to compete, be part of a team and build my skills as a leader. There are three key areas that are extremely important to me, which I will focus on in my manifesto.
Firstly, I have experienced first-hand the benefits of sport on mental health, I want to emphasize this and help others benefit in the same way. Secondly, I want to increase participation at every level of sport at York as I know how essential it is in forging new friendships and keeping fit. Thirdly, I want to increase integration with sport groups in the local community, as I believe this is an amazing way to make connections and explore new opportunities for sport at York.
Emphasis on the benefits of sport for good mental health.
· Mental health is a growing issue amongst university students, and Sport has a big part to play in improving mental health. I will introduce mental health awareness training for captains and committee members of university and college teams to help them recognise mental health issues and assist their teams in overcoming them.
· I will keep the conversation about mental health going through a charity competition against Lancaster, with the university that raises the most money getting extra Roses points, with proceeds going towards the York and Lancaster Mind charities.
· I will also have a spotlight on different aspects of mental health, with profiles and stories from different university sportspeople, as well as hosting drop in sessions each week with myself and a member of the open-door team, where sports team members/captains can come and talk about concerns or questions and get advice.
· I would also invite prominent sportspeople and mental health speakers to come into the university to talk about mental health in sport to better educate the student body on the importance of sport and staying healthy.
Increasing Involvement by creating more sporting opportunities for students and increasing access at all levels from keeping fit, to college level and university level.
· Lots of students want to keep fit and participate in physical activity without the pressure of competing. I will set up college running groups and keep them going through regular runs to parkrun, the couch to 5k programme and using the YorActive trail around campus.
· I will also organise a traditional sports day at the end of summer term to encourage everyone to participate, regardless of sporting ability.
· I aim to improve the availability of strength and conditioning as it is a highly sought-after programme. I will do this by using more facilities on campus and elsewhere. I will also organise general fitness sessions, such as circuit classes, that can be tailored to different university sports teams as well as to college teams.
· Lots of clubs often struggle to find qualified referees in the local area so I will create more opportunities for students to become qualified referees and coaches.
· I also want to bring back team of the week and sportsperson of the month, for not just university teams but also for college teams.
Integration with sport groups in the local community.
· I feel that it is important for students to get to know their local area and the people that live there. I want to get them involved in local community sport groups such as GoodGym, parkrun and Move the Masses, which are free local groups with a running/fitness focus that also combine volunteering.
· I will build bridges with local sports clubs in order to provide smaller teams with more training hours and competition opportunities. This would also create a pathway for local talented young sportspeople to get into higher education at York, simultaneously boosting our performance potential.
· I will encourage all sports clubs to do some volunteering in the local community, such as delivering sports sessions at local schools in order to encourage the next generation to get involved in sport and to promote a good image of our university sports teams.
I have been involved in both college and university sports clubs since my first year. I swim for the university and I was team captain last year, so I have experience of being on a sports club committee and of being a sporting leader. I have also been a member of Alcuin college hockey, which has given me experience of the college sport system. I also won the Sportswoman of the year award at the Colours Ball last year for my dedication and commitment to swimming. I have worked as a swimming teacher for six years and I currently work at York Sport Village; giving back to the sport that I love so much, but also giving me the experience of working within a professional sporting environment.
I have also faced my share of difficulties in life, leading me to drop out of university the first time around and then later to leave my year abroad. I am not afraid of making difficult decisions like these as I know when something isn't right, and I'll do anything to fix it. I am dedicated, hardworking and organised, and I believe I could take sport at York in a really positive direction.
So, don’t forget to vote and get Griff-IN!