Freshers of 2014: congratulations on picking probably the best time to start at Warwick University. The academic year ahead looks set to be one of the most exciting in the history of the institution, especially where sport is concerned. With a fully refurbished sports centre, the continued good health of all of our sports clubs, and the growing success of the ever exciting Warwick Active initiative, there’s never been a better time to immerse yourself in sport on campus.
Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the 25th Varsity series against Coventry, an event we have won continuously for the past 24 iterations in a contest about as competitive as a World Cup semi-final featuring Germany and Brazil. One person particularly excited about that forthcoming Varsity series is Ruby Compton-Davies.
Ruby is your sports officer for the year ahead, after being elected in the student elections back in March. As your sports officer, Ruby works full time in the Students‘ Union to defend your sporting interests at university. An extremely popular candidate for the position, Ruby swept to success with around 45 percent of the student vote after promising in her manifesto to make sport at Warwick both more accessible and transparent, as well as to increase the organization of Varsity.
She spoke to the Boar just before the first week of term, expressing her excitement as well as speaking out in defence of the recent Warwick Sport price increases.
Ruby swept to success with around 45 percent of the student vote
Boar Sport: How have the first few days in your new role been? What have you been up to?
Ruby: It’s been an absolutely fantastic start to the year, mostly because I’ve already achieved two of my manifesto points! We now have later circling before Pop! (the weekly sports club night on campus) so that teams playing in BUCs matches across the country don’t miss out on the start of proceedings, and I have also planned a club night to take place during Freshers Fortnight! It’s called Rave of Thrones and has already sold out. It’s going to be massive!
As well as that, I’ve also been working hard on the new partnership between Warwick Sport and the SU. Also, the Warwick Sport Review has changed a few things this year so I’ve been doing my best to answer questions and solve any issues regarding this. Meanwhile, as a sabb team, we have launched (what looks to be) a successful campaign on the bad taxi service in Leamington and Coventry, and I even appeared on BBC Coventry and Warks talking about it. And of course I’ve been planning for the ‘traditional’ stuff like sports fair and Varsity!
B: What do you most hope to achieve as sports officer?
[pullquote]I’m hoping to create a better relationship with our fantastic media societies- the Boar, Raw and WTV[/pullquote]
R: There are loads of things that have existed in the past that I hope to make bigger and better. I applied for, and successfully obtained, funding for the ‘Discover Disabled Sports’ Festival which is happening on November 22 – so I would love for attendance numbers at that event to double from what they were last year!
Also, I’m hoping to create a better relationship with our fantastic media societies (such as the Boar, RaW, WTV) so that all the brilliant sporting achievements and results we regularly get at Warwick are recognized right across campus. Our sports clubs and individuals do amazing things, but they sometimes go unnoticed!
B: Why do you think that it’s so important to get involved in sport on campus?
R: Sport has been an integral part of my university experience, and having been in five sports clubs playing both competitively and casually I have made so many friends and had so many experiences I never would have expected before coming to university!
Besides the social aspect, which can be really useful – especially when you’re in a new city, county or even country- getting active can be a brilliant method of de-stressing whilst you’re studying for your degree.
R: The increase in club membership fees have been implemented following a 12 month consultation with Warwick Sport members as the current structure wasn’t sustainable. The small increase to club membership of £10 a term means that clubs will be able to prosper and progress in leagues and competition due to improved support from staff and additional provisions. There is also the opportunity of applying as a club, to the Kitemark programme.
It also means that non-club members are no longer paying for and subsidising club activity, so the opportunity to get involved in more casual sports will be greater! Last year, 6000 people engaged in our Warwick Active programme and as the demand is there, we want to make that offer even better! Hopefully, even people who wouldn’t dream of calling themselves ‘sporty’ might find themselves at one of our Active events such as the notorious Zombie Run!
B: You’ve mentioned the Zombie Run, but what other sporting event are you most looking forward to this year?
R: I am, personally, gearing myself up for Varsity already! I have been in talks with Jo, Coventry’s sports officer, and we have big plans for the event this year! There’s going to be a few changes as well, so make sure that you look out for those. And it’s the 25th anniversary- so its a big one! I know Jo is determined to put up a better fight this year…but we will obviously fight harder!
Ruby Compton-Davies is your sports officer for 2014-15. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.