In a series of blog posts, outgoing VP Sports Development Evan Whyte has announced lots of changes to the way sports will be managed next year.[quote align=”left” name=”Evan Whyte” role=”VP Sports Development”]I am very excited about the forthcoming year and think that giving students complete control of their own leagues will undoubtedly improve IM. The feedback and work of the IM Committee has been priceless and means that next year’s league structures will be tailored to the feedback we received from teams this year.[/quote]
The headline announcement on Thursday was that the Intra-Mural sports leagues would be transferring from University to SUSU control, which it is hoped will make the league better managed with a permanent member of staff able to manage the leagues. Equally, it is hoped that this will allow better student input into best practice in the leagues through an Intra-Mural officer and committee providing feedback. As a result of the announcement, available sports and entry prices for next year have already been announced, the latter seeing a reduction of 60% in fees resulting a saving of over £100 for some sports.
Further to this, a subsequent announcement on Friday outlined support for disabled students who want to take up sports. New measures laid out by the strategy include signposting participants to accessible clubs within the University and the wider community while also pushing for better funding and training to make other University clubs and events more accessible.
Some of this additional funding comes from an increased Sport Development Zone budget, which it was announced had increased by £30,000 for next year. This followed a successful appeal to the Trustee board and now leaves a pot of some £239,000 that clubs can apply for with some of that money specifically allocated to enable students to attend Level 3 equivalent coaching courses. The focus on improved training has also been highlighted given the aim that the University return to the top 20 of BUCS, following the slip to 23rd in the 2012/13 year, an aim which looks to be confirmed shortly.[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy8BwoHON_Y[/youtube]
The final announcement on Monday followed the successful launch of the Team Southampton unified colours that debuted for the 2014 Varsity tournament against the University of Portsmouth. The success of the maroon, gold and navy wear will result in the launch of a Team Southampton online shop, where casual options of the sports gear, such as polo shirts, hoodies and tracksuits, will be available to order with the aim of making sport much more visible in everyday campus life.
Reflecting on his time as VP Sports Development in a final blog published on Tuesday, Evan commented that:
Being the Vice-President Sports Development has been a huge honour and an experience that has taught me a lot! I am extremely proud of the work done by my officers and I, as I believe we have shown that student officers can make big changes for both future and existing students over the course of a year.