Joe Gubbins

Athletic Union Officer

Half time

The first 6 months of the job have been action packed, exciting and invaluable. From organising Officer Training to giving my input of the £30 million project to develop the sports centre there has never been a dull moment.

September came quickly and I kicked it off by hosting a Great North Run Preparation event, this involved a talk from a leading GB Cross Country coach followed by a short 5k run. The event was a great opportunity for amateur runners to receive advice from a high quality coach; it was incredibly satisfying to see runners share their stories and excitement for the day. 

Following the success of this event, I felt it was important to provide advice and support to students. I had visited The University of Hertfordshire in July for BUCS (British University Colleges Sport) Conference and here I gained many ideas of how I could enhance the student experience. Working with the Welfare and Equality Officer we drew up a programme of events to promote healthy nutrition and ensure students don’t forget to eat after exercise. This was a massive success with students thoroughly appreciating the Breakfast Clubs that were put on in the sports centre. Go Volunteer organised Soup in a bag, Dr Aisling Martin and Dr Jen Woodhouse gave a talk on why we eat and Canny Kitchen delivered a cookery class.

Senior Committee Officer training took place on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th September and Welfare Officer Training was hosted on Friday 13th October, over 240 students attended training and we now have trained Welfare Officers for the first time at the start of the year. Fresher's Fair was a huge success with clubs gaining many new members to compete for their clubs.

My most recent campaign was being an active supporter in the This Girl Can national campaign. Many clubs and societies took part in this to promote female participation in sport and we have many students that tried out a new sport for the first time. Over 100 students engaged and events were ran in many different sports from Cycling to Fencing. It was incredibly satisfying to see people inspired to take part in something that they wouldn’t have done before due to this campaign. This was run in conjunction with Liam Isaac and the CPRS to ensure a well-advertised, engaged and successful campaign.

Two focus groups have been held to encourage student opinion on the two sports developments (Cochrane Park and Newcastle University Sports Centre) that are forecasted to be complete in September 2018 and September 2019 respectively. The student reception to these were both great, many suggestions were put forward and it was my responsibility to follow these up to see what measures could be put in place to provide for all students. Some of these suggestions made have been acted upon, a potential bar to ran by NUSU in the Cochrane Park development and the provision of healthy food to be available in the sports centre.

In terms of performance Newcastle University are performing incredibly well, currently placing us 11th in the BUCS points table, with some outstanding performances from all clubs.

I am now excited for next term where I plan to carry on practising all these skills, my organisation skills will be further tested in the planning and organising of Stan Calvert and the AU Ball which will engage over 1000 people. 

Merry Christmas!