Athletic Union Officer

Blog: Athletic Union Officer 

February Fun


What have I done this term?


AU Ball – Plans for the ball continue with the concept finalised as Roaring 20s. Meal tastings took place at the Lancastrian Suite in Gateshead with the Executive Committee and some of the Sabbatical Officers. I have released the ticket requests and award nominations and these are already piling in.


AU Exec – The committee has met three times in the period and continues to work towards planning the ball.


BUCS – Newcastle University has been hugely successful in BUCS fixtures, with many teams progressing into quarters and semi-finals of the cup, and others in prime position for promotion.  We currently still sit at 9th in the table. This has caused some strain on the BUCS budget, as travel for the final rounds are national and opponents are only released the week before the fixture.


BUCS Nationals – I attended and volunteered at the 3 day BUCS event held in Sheffield, where Newcastle brought home silverware in multiple sports.


Elections – I assisted at the Candidates Academy for students who have nominated themselves to be next year’s sabbatical officers and gave a ‘Tips and Tricks’ session with advice and guidance on how to run a campaign.


GoodGym Partnership – The ‘Students Union Mash-up’ was filmed for ITV Tyne Tees news, and I gave an interview on the benefits of the partnership. The monthly mash-ups continue.


Governance Review – There is currently a review underway on the governance structures of sport at university by Phil Ansell, Dean of Sport. Myself, NUSU and my Executive Committee have taken part so far, with more conversations to come with student groups.


Inductions – I carried out induction talks across campus for international and new postgraduate students for the January starters.


Initiations – I am on the main steering group as well as Co-Chair on the work stream which is looking at the definition and culture of initiations. I also sit on the disciplinary working group.


Kit – The contract continues and plans are starting to be made for improvements for next year. Myself and Colin Blackburn, Director of Sport, met with representatives from Canterbury, including Rohaan Nirmalendran who is the Product Category Manager for Team Sport Apparel. We discussed the partnership going forward and were introduced to some of the new products which will soon be available. We also voiced some concerns on delivery times and women’s fit items which the representatives from Canterbury will be looking into.


Nutrition Campaign – I collated the feedback for this into a report which showed a convincing desire for more food provision at the sports centre. This will be something I am taking forward.


Sport England Funding – I came across the availability of some funding from Sport England to run an initiative to use physical activity to tackle mental health issues. With combined work from NUSU and the University we were awarded just under £6000 to fund the project.


Sports Facilities Progress – The site progress is going well, and I completed a site visit on Monday 17th December which was interesting to see the building taking shape.


Sports Strategy – Myself, the Student Activities Manager, DMHR and the Sport Development Coordinator discussed the progress of the sports strategy and what we were working towards to get back on top of it. This includes more work on club liaison and looking into facilitating travel to Newcastle venues.


What has been your biggest achievement?

This period has been relatively quiet with students having been off or doing exams for the most of it and therefore few fixtures.


Volunteering at BUCS Nationals has been a highlight with many Newcastle teams competing, and the continued success of our BUCS programme is great to see.


A big part of my work this period has been on the Initiations groups and the Governance Review, and the AU Ball will continue to need work for the foreseeable future.


What could you have improved on?



I wanted to run a Give Sport a Go campaign in February but due to unforeseen personal circumstances, was unable to. I would strongly encourage my successor to look into delivering this next year, as I believe it highlights a gap in our sport delivery market.



What do you plan to do next term?



  • Elections
  • Club Photos
  • AU Ball
  • Student Element of Governance Review
  • BUCS Big Wednesday
  • BUCS Advisory Group
  • Cochrane Park opening
  • Look into a sports day type event for the summer term to tie into the BUCS Centenary
  • Disability awareness trip to Kielder forest.


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