My name is Katy and I am your AU President the 2021-22 academic year.
As your Athletic Union President, I am the voice and representative for all students who want to get involved in sport at Exeter. From recreational to competitive sport, as well as employability opportunities with coaching and umpiring, I work alongside the AU team and students to ensure your experience is as enjoyable as possible.
My principal aims this year are to offer more para-sport opportunities and access to a Hardship Fund, to reduce some of the barriers to participation students can face. To find more about my manifesto, head below to read more!
As AU President, I would work closely with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team to break down the barriers to sport that many students face. I believe that there is more that we, as a university, can be proactive with in order to achieve this.
I want to make the UK Disability History Month an annual focal point, particularly since Movember has highlighted how successfully our student body can work together. Alongside the Student Disability Campaign, we would educate clubs about visible and invisible disabilities, to make members aware of how they can help. Throughout this month, I’d help clubs host more accommodating taster sessions, and work to make the implementation of inclusive sessions more of a normality throughout the year.
Support and Wellbeing:
The aspect of my campaign that I am most passionate about, the wellbeing of our community, is hugely important to me. This year, I’ve been working to provide the lacrosse club with workshops for women, focusing on positive mindsets and self-confidence within sport. With the help of the AU, I want to continue this initiative next year and offer a series of workshops to all female/mixed clubs.
I’d continue to offer the Good Lad Initiative workshops and encourage more people to attend, particularly committee members. That way, they can lead from the front and help educate their members further.
Finally, I’d like to develop a wider range of training opportunities for committee members. In better preparing students for their roles, their clubs would benefit, as would their individual skills and future prospects as a result.
Providing More Opportunities:
I’d work with the AU to secure membership support each year. Students who regard membership fees as a barrier to participation could apply for reduced memberships, depending on individual clubs’ funds.
I’d also like to help the AU offer more competitive sports opportunities, finding a middle ground between commitment to BUCS and more relaxed participation in intramural sport. Implementing a new league next year would bridge this gap. Students would have the opportunity to play competitively, without the pressure of sacrificing too much of their time for BUCS.
For many students, COVID-19 is challenging their wellbeing now more than ever, and sport plays a key role in combating this. It is vital that our students have the equal opportunity to participate in sport, and I hope you will join me in my campaign to make this possible.
Committee Training Oppertunities
Next term, thanks to the generosity of the Alumni Fund, we will be offering some Beyond Equality workshops to our AU club committees. These will educate students further on active bystanders, challenging social norms, mental wellbeing and healthy relationships. Previous feedback from these workshops has been fantastic, so I’m excited to offer it to students next term.
Thanks to the generosity of Exeter City Community Trust and the hard work from members of Exeter ladies’ football and cricket club, we were able to host a para football and para cricket taster session early in December with some powerchairs, as pictured. It was brilliant to raise awareness for parasport and to gain a greater understanding of how we can continue making sport at Exeter more inclusive. Notable mentions must go to Sally McKendry and Sanjana Kang-Mullen for their dedication to making their clubs as accessible as possible and for running our first para-sport open session with powerchairs.
Our next parasport taster session will be Friday 21st January during refreshers week. This will take place in the St Luke’s sports hall from 2:30-4:30pm.
The Athletic Union has worked closely with the Guild in order to provide students who cannot afford to join a club due to financial reasons, with the opportunity to get funding to support them with their membership fees.
If you'd like to read more about the Hardship Fund, or apply, please head to the Guild website.
January - Refreshers
17th – 21st = make sure you sign up to some taster sessions and take the chance to try out something new!
February - This Girl Can
After the success of Movember, throughout February I will be launching a This Girl Can campaign in order to promote female participation in sport. Some club captains are going to work together and lead various initiatives to strengthen the campaign as much as possible. Some key dates are as follows:
1st – 7th = Self Defence Classes
7th – 13th = Sexual violence and awareness week
28th Feb – 6th March = Eating difficulties and body image