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Warwick SU Elections 2024 Interviews: Ben Tweedle, VP Sports

In the run-up to the Warwick Students’ Union (SU) elections, The Boar and RAW 1251AM collaborated to offer all Full-Time Officer (FTO) candidates the opportunity to be interviewed.

Last week, Ben Tweedle, a candidate running for the position of Vice President for Sports, sat down with Harriet Musselwhite Steel from RAW 1251AM. The interview showcased Tweedle’s vision for the future of sports at Warwick, strategies to enhance inclusion and affordability, and pledges to commit to gender equality and safe social environments within sports clubs.

What would your key priorities be if you were to be elected?

Referring back to his manifesto, Tweedle outlined three key priorities:

  1. Get the most out of Warwick Sport
  2. Get the funding sports clubs “deserve”
  3. Improved quality of life for members of sports club executive committees

Tweedle went on to stress: “There’s a lot of other stuff that goes on around that like increasing inclusion, making it easier to access clubs financially, and Varsity with Birmingham.”

What would you do to ensure sport is affordable to everyone at Warwick?

Tweedle initially praised Emma Birch’s (current VP Sports) push for grant funds and stressed a willingness to “continue and [extend that] to entry fees for competitions”.

Speaking on the cost of sports passes, he added: “I’m really keen to take it in a direction where we bring that cost down for everyone across the board and get as many people on board as possible.”

The past few years have seen a focus on tackling sexism in sport at Warwick. Will you continue to enact what is currently in place to challenge sexism in sport? And how will you ensure that there is gender equality with teams within Warwick ?

Tweedle stressed this was an “important issue” and suggested getting as much engagement in the Sport Task Force as possible.

He added that while sports clubs are taking steps in the right direction, there was a real need to “make people want to engage in it in order to have a real positive impact”.

How will you work to ensure sports club accessibility to those who perhaps are new to sport before attending university? 

After mentioning that “the SU invests a lot in BUCS funding”, Tweedle indicated that the need to encourage the University to invest in wider engagement with sport.

This, he said, would come down to “money, spreading the word, and just getting as many people enjoying sports at the end of the day”.

Tweedle concluded by stressing the importance of forming lifelong memories whilst at university and indicated that sport was central to the student experience.

Akuma is a teamwear manufacturer that Warwick’s sports clubs use for merchandise. To wrap up the interview, Tweedle was asked:

What can you do to hold Akuma accountable for meeting their contractual obligations and providing students value for money with kit supplies?

Tweedle responded: “People aren’t the most happy with Akuma … and I know a lot of people dislike that we’re in a contract [with them].”

He added: “At Warwick, we are one of their biggest suppliers. I feel like they’re in a position now where they really want to keep us as customers. Potentially that’s quite positive for us to be able to get the change from them that we want to see.”

Tweedle concluded: “I’m keen to have discussions with them about that.”

This interview, along with all other interviews for Vice President positions, can be watched in full using the link here, courtesy of RAW1251 AM.


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