student.union@newcastle.ac.uk

Half Time in the Athletic Union 21/22

Find out about everything going on in your Athletic Union!

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What have I done this term?

With the reigniting of sport well and teruly underway, iut's fair to say that this term hasd been jam packed full of exciting projects. So read on to see what I've been up to to!

Clubs and Societies Fair – It was in-person this year! I’m delighted to say we will had an in-person Fair this year. Sports Clubs werebe based in the Sports Centre which helped the university show off the brand-new facilities. There wasalso be an online Zoom option for those unable to attend in person. Between the 19th and 21st September. This was the first big opportunity to restart sport and get the student body engaging with sports clubs.

AU AGM – The successful AGM was held on Monday 27th September and the AU Executive Committee was elected.The constitution was updated with altered disciplinary procedures to reflect amendments made at Student Council last academic year. The Athletic Union Mission Statement was also altered.

Officer Training – I continued with online training for committees. This was based on the feedback from last year, allowing people to complete the training in their own time. This included dedicated training for Welfare Officers delivered by the University. First Aid training was delivered in person at the end of September and beginning of October. I am proud to say that I was able to organise Dangerous Behaviours training for two members of each club. This was led by Moira Lafferty of Chester University and focuses on initiations, drinking cultures and other areas of concern for sports clubs. The feedback has been very positive, and I look forward to seeing the training be implemented throughout clubs.

BUCS – BUCS is going ahead this year! I had the opportunity to learn more about the organisation structure, plans and objectives at the Back to BUCS Conference at the University of Nottingham. This was a brilliant event to network at and meet other student officers. I'm delighted with progress of our clubs so far. They have well and truly hit the ground running and at the point of writing this we are 10th overall on the BUCS table with some outstanding results. The transport situation continues to feature in our weekly planning but not nearly as heavily as the star to the season. The activities team have been brilliant at mitigating the impact on our students

New Director of Sport- Back in July, I was involved in the interview process for the new Director of Sport. It was my first time on an interview panel, and it was a valuable insight into this kind of process. I’m pleased to say we definitely appointed the best candidate for the job who started in October. Relationships with Katy are off to a very good start and she is a very positive influence on sport at Newcastle. She will presented her initial Sports strategy to AU Exec on 29th November. I’m working with her on projects such as Team Newcastle, Varsity with Northumbria and widening the broadcasting and engagement opportunities. I will be attending all Sports Centre Senior Leadership meetings from now on.

Cochrane Park Transport – I submitted a transport proposal to the University Partnership Committee. This paper outlines the case for the University covering the cost of Stagecoach 1 bus travel to Cochrane Park and Longbenton sports facilities. Currently waiting to hear back from the head of university sustainability for the next steps.

The CourierI've got a weekly collumn in The Courier! Pick up your copy from The Students Union and around campus to have a read!

 

Representing students

Student Experience meetings

Attended multiple meetings relating to student experience, particularly after the NSS results. Some of these covered the induction period that Newcastle University has planned. I have also been involved with the delivery of Freshers Week, a key part of the student experience. Engagement with clubs is also vital to see how we can improve the student experience.

Student Experience remains at the heart of everything we do. I have had a huge number of meetings with various committee members to ensure that clubs are catering for all of our students and meeting all of their
needs. Alongside WEO and EO, I have been attending meetings of the Drugs and Alcohol group along with wider city groups to tackle to current spiking situation and to keep our students safe. Planning is already underway for the 2022 CSAs and I’m looking forward to the date where we get to decide the winners!


Housing is a huge issue that I have taken a lead on. I am lobbying the council to produce a student friendly section on their website. One which answers any questions they may have and offer assistance to students in need of help. I am also leading on a campaign in partnership with P and WEO. Our aim is to collate information on students about the housing and landlord situation so that licensing can be changed to improve the experience of living in private student housing.

Community meetings

I have sat on multiple meetings that discuss Newcastle and its relation to student. In particular, to try and improve the relation between residents and students. Residents and NCL Council seem to be quite worried about students returning, we have and will continue to make clear that students are not to blame for everything and that many do adhere to guidelines.

I am the Sabb lead on Community Unity, and there has been lots of positive discussion about how students have returned to Newcastle. I have been working hard to develop strong relationships with Metro and councillors so that students are not singled out and treated equally like permanent residents.

 

What has been your biggest achievement?

I'm very proud of the way the whole Activities Team handled the Transport crisis. After our usual coach company pulled out of the contract to provide coaches for all of our BUCS Fixtures, the whole team, along with the sports centre came togther in order to find a solution that work for all of our students. I'm proud t osay that no team missed their fixtures as a result of the transport crisis and we are in a very stable position. This is reflected by our top 10 ranking in the BUCS table.

The whole Sabb team have been brilliant ot work with. We've come together very well and are clearly aligned with our our priorities for the year. This has made it very easy to map out what we want to achievethis year for our students.

 

What could you have improved on?

The year flies by. For goodness sake we're alreay in December. As such, I will look to improve how I prioritise meetings, events and other things to ensure that I can start ticking off the things that really matter- getting this donbe for the students. *I've also learned how important it is to ask for help around you. The whole NUSU team, particularly the Activities Team is very knowledge and I wish I had capitalised on their knowledge sooner.

 

What do you plan to do next term?

Work with Canterbury to develop a supports range of kit
- Work with Northumbria to develop a Varsity competition
- Liaise with sports centre and Welfare support to establish what resources are in place for student
athletes in terms of sports psychcology
- Break ground on my women in sport week w/c 25th April
- Continue planning for AU Ball May 6th
- Continue working on my housing campaign to lobby the council to change licensing to better
support students
- See the city council student section on the website develop to meet the needs of students
- Develop plans for a wheelchair basketball team

 

So roll on the new year. It's a great time to be leading the Athletic Union and I can't wait to see what January brings!

Fergus

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