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Officer Updates & Blogs

Athletic Union Officer

Blog: Benthe Tanghe, Athletic Union Officer 

Full-Time (AU End of Term Report)

What have I done this term?

This term, we finally saw the return of in person sport. It has been incredibly rewarding seeing clubs meeting up again, partaking in the sport they love most.  

Here is a quick round up of what has happened in the last months 

  • Chaired 3 more AU Exec meetings
  • Roadmap: Wrote a proposal, which took into account the roadmap of the government and Higher Education guidelines. Proposal was approved by the Gold Command meaning sport could restart as quickly as it did. https://www.nusu.co.uk/news/article/6039/The-return-of-Sport/ 
  • Gym membership 21/22: Lobbied the University to create a ‘rolling’ monthly payment option for the facilities membership. This has been agreed to and the option will be available for 2 of the 3 new membership categories. There will be no joining fee and no minimum contract period. 
  • House of Lords: Spoke to the House of Lords Sport and Exercise Committee, to elaborate on the work we do to make Team Newcastle more inclusive, accessible and united and to take part in the discussion around the barriers faced, especially by women and those from minority backgrounds to take part and what steps are needed on a National level to engage more young people in sport. 
  • This Girl Can: Organised a virtual TGC Campaign in collaboration with NUSU Give it a Go and clubs and societies. 
  • 2021 Fund: After establishing the 2021 Fund in 2021, we were able to give it out in this term. Almost all applications were successful, and these investments will be a benefit to those clubs for a long time. 
  • AGM & Handover: A handbook has been written with all the relevant information to make this period as easy as possible. We have adapted the process to the current climate.  
  • AU Awards & University Colour Awards: A video will be realised soon with all the winners of the AU Awards. The Club Colours have been given out already. 
  • Canterbury / The Pentland Group: Finally, they have been able to visit and I am really excited with the results. More info to follow soon in the Courier! 
  • Travel to Cochrane Park: I can’t disclose too much now, but good news to follow soon!  

Just like the other terms I haven’t sat still when it came to the community and our international students. First of all regarding the community: Operation Oak has been an important topic this year. Students living in the local community are an asset to the city but we know that there have been additional issues raised because of the pandemic. NUSU welcomes initiatives that focus on supporting student safety and we encourage students to use Operation Oak if they are in need of assistance for a community safety matter (https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/latest/2021/03/operationoaksummerterm2021/

Regarding global and our international students: in term 2 I have been part of numerous International Student Listening Sessions. We have decided in term 3 that it would be right to host an extra one for our EU students regarding the implications of Brexit. I have chaired this together with our Pro Vice Chancellor Global. I also sit in the new Student Mobility Sub-Committee where we’ve decided that students will be allowed to go abroad next year (subject to restrictions). Lastly, I attended my already latest University Global Committee.  

What has been your biggest achievement?

In my year as Athletic Union Officer, it has been my priority to make real, lasting change, and to make Team Newcastle more inclusive, accessible and united. I am proud to have been able to make strides towards this goal in multiple areas as the kit, the gym membership, the 2021 Fund et cetera.  

What could you have improved on?

Prioritise my time, and I think this is something I found difficult the entire year. You get so many opportunities and there is so much going on, but in the end of the day, there are only so many hours in the day. I wish I would have said no more often and focused on the things where I could really make a difference. 

What piece of advice would you pass on to your successor? 

Prioritise at every term, what you really want to focus on. This doesn’t have to be very specific, but just what key areas are important to you, because you only have a year, and there is only so much you can do. Lastly, make sure to take enough breaks and go out to see the clubs play, that’s what you’re doing it for in the end of the day! 

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