Emma Bonner- Sports President – Monthly Blog
‘I haven’t been Pucking about’
Kicking off the semester with a cute lunch at the Vice Chancellors house set the standard for what’s to come this year. We were served our lunch while discussing University and students’/Sports Union issues. The sabbatical team and I established our main objectives for the year and how the VC could contribute to us achieving our targets. I also attended meetings with PVC’s with the same agenda of introducing myself and what is in store for UUSU sport this year.
I represented UUSU Sport at the Launch of ‘Share the gLove’ campaign, this initiative was set to promote LGBT+ rights by creating rainbow GAA gloves. All profits from the sale of the gloves will go to two charities; Aware NI and the Rainbow Project. This initiative created by Ruairí Mooney and Maggie Hagan, will help everyone to feel accepted and welcome into the GAA community. Share the gLove provides an open goal for people to show their support for the LGBT+ community as well as the mental health charity, Aware NI.
Kellys Nightclub Portrush gave us the cue to secure our ongoing sponsorship of UUSU sport in Coleraine. Each week a different club on the Coleraine campus are allocated to receive 75p of the £3 student entrance fee at the door of ‘Kellys on a Wednesday night’, helping clubs in Coleraine sail with fundraising opportunities.
The same week the UUSU Sport team and I travelled to Dublin to attend the SSI Strategic plan launch which was a great networking opportunity.
The UUSU Sport team and I trained our sports activators across the 3 campuses to promote, deliver and champion our different recreational initiatives as well as our various campaigns happening throughout the year. This gives us a presence on all 4 campuses at all times. Helping us develop sport at Ulster and to improve the overall student experience.
Tackling the stigma around mental health was a key item on my manifesto when elected as your sports president. Therefore, I started the month by training Coleraine Residential Support Assistants in PIP’s Mind your Mood programme alongside VP Coleraine, Andy Mac. This was the first time I had delivered the program since handing over the reins of VP Coleraine in June 2016. I intend to deliver this training to all sports clubs throughout the year to not only raise awareness but to train students in suicide prevention.
Welcome week and Fresher’s Week were in a League of their own! Starting with an induction day on the Coleraine Campus, I updated 950 new students on who we are, what to expect from UUSU sport and where they could sign up to our clubs. I then travelled across the 4 campuses delivering inductions to international and home students in various faculties.
We then held our very first Club crawl. Where students were given the chance to try out all our clubs on their campus, free of charge, this has since then continued with our 3 weeks ‘come and try’ campaign.
We held our annual Freshers’ Fayres across the 4 campuses. Attending all 4 Fayre’s, I help set up, promote UUSU Sport and ensured that all our clubs were catered for- I even signed up to the Basketball club and Stunt Cheerleading! Each Fayre followed with Open Campus meetings, where I delivered a snazzy prezi presentation to all 75 clubs, giving them updates on the previous year and what to expect this year while also allocating various representative roles to the active sports students.
The end of the month has saw the Club meetings go successfully with every club reporting various training and governance issues and successes and having their say in how UUSU Sport is run.
When I started the role in July I was worried as to how I would go about achieving my manifesto, how students would perceive me and overall if I would do the role any justice, as I had big Football boots to fill thanks to my predecessor, James O’Mullan. However, now that I’m settled I can assure that this year will be a productive one, I promise to step up my game and I won’t be pucking about!
Student Queries: 64
Student Attendance’s in Social Sport: 286
Student Sport Membership: 1240