Today saw next years’ potential Sports officers  Hannah Preece and Will Galloway, up in the hot seat for the first round of questioning by current president JK and plug manager Andy.

In tackling most prominent issues on campus, sports officers’ stressed the need for better coordination of facilities between teams to enable all teams to have as much access as possible. Hannah Preece brought up inter- halls netball as an example of this, with their delayed start at the beginning of the year. It was agreed by both candidates that there still is aspects of sports facilities that are not being adequately used and more could be done to facilitate this.

The discussion surrounding facilities was also extended to off- campus sports provisions which Will stated was supported by the alumni fund. He stressed the need to provide better results of such provisions to continue the funding. Hannah on the other hand, floundered in terms of providing a tangible concrete answer and solution to this issue, but stressed the need for its support and continuation.

Both candidates agreed that it would be essential to stick out the current contract with Surridge, despite the issues with acquiring kit this year. However more could be done to better communication and provide enough information to be provided to Surridge. Surridge blamed the problem on their slightly naïve expectations as to the demands of the university stating that they need to be ‘- better at predicting’. Hannah was adamant in her belief that this was a hollow statement, pointing out that having no provision as to how the problem would be resolved is not good enough.

The candidates stood by the notion of representing the students, and prioritised extra learning and teaching facilities over the provision of the 3G pitch. While met by shock by the audience, it remains agreed that there is a reason a 3g pitch hasn’t been built yet  despite subsequent sports officers attempting to complete it. With the consensus being that there are areas with more tangible benefits which can be targeted

There was tremendous focus on ‘inclusivity, diversity, and provision of facilities for students’. Everyone seemed to be saying the right words, however words and actions are seldom the right thing. it will be interesting to see if there will be any more substantial follow up in these areas.

Oh course throughout this talk the candidates blustered their way through a few questions, occasionally had failed to do the research or just seemed very out of place on the stage which is to be expected.

Overall the first debate between the two sports candidates was an interesting one. Whilst personally we would have liked to have seen more distinction between the candidates, both set down a good framework for themselves to progress further into the process.

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