Wessex Scene interviews Steve Gore, who is hoping to keep his position as VP Sports Development after the 2018 Spring Union Elections.
So, why have you decided to run for VP Sport again?
I want to make sure that I can get my projects finished and completed and I can see the results from that. I want to focus on the areas that normally get overlooked by VP Sports when they’re only doing one term, particularly athlete welfare and living a healthy lifestyle. There’s a section of my manifesto dedicated to making sure that all students can live an active and healthy lifestyle and make healthy decisions – not necessarily just sports students.
What do you think has been your greatest achievement in the role over the last year?
Stemming from the positive relationship that I have with Sport and Wellbeing and Student Services, the dates aren’t confirmed yet but it would have to be getting split membership options with Sport and Wellbeing. They come to the VP Sports for advice from the students and in past years, they’ve had a pretty frosty relationship but this year I think it’s been really constructive and we’re both working towards common goals – making sure students can afford gym membership, but at the same time they can meet their financial targets, which is a struggle for them. This will make students happy and also potentially drive up membership, which means we’ve managed to come to an agreement. They’re actually hiring more staff for this, so it really shows the positive impact the Union has on university policy.
Is there anything in the last year you could have done better, or would have handled differently?
Maybe I should have been stricter on grants in the first round, in hindsight. At the time, we moved £10,000 from grant round two to round one to cover competition costs, but that just delayed the issue. Coming into the role I wasn’t really sure, it’s hard to know what you’re doing in round one, it’s very early on and it’s hard to see the bigger picture, even as someone who has sat on the AUC (Athlete Union Committee) before. I think, in hindsight, there aren’t a great deal of things I could have done differently, and I don’t think anyone else in my position could have done any better. So I feel that, going into the next year, what this gives me is a deep understanding of the struggles that clubs are feeling all round, which I know, because some of the clubs have come to meet me about their debt, I think that means I’m going to fight even stronger for their rights. But I don’t think there’s anything I would have done differently.
What insight have you gained from the role this year that would be particularly useful going into a second term, as opposed to a first?
Firstly, it would be knowing what the Union can and can’t do, so that means that my manifesto is completely achievable. All of my policies are within the remit of VP Sport and I have plans set in place for all of them. Secondly, it would be knowing the time frames available for VP Sport; there are times of the year that are busier than others. Pretty much all of the time it’s busy, but I know roughly when I’ll be able to get my projects done, mainly over Christmas and January is quite a quiet time – and I know that in hindsight now as well as the other times that we can look at things that’ll come up later on in the year. And lastly, I feel that I’ve been through it all with the clubs once, so I know what they need and what they don’t need and the best way to help the clubs get out of debt because I have that context before and I’ve spoken to a lot of them.
If re-elected, what are the three focal points of your manifesto?
Aside from my existing priorities, I would say it’s pretty much summarized in my manifesto; participation and representation, finance – my focus would be to make sure that all students could access sport for as cheap as possible and my final focus, that has been my focus throughout last year, is welfare, but this time with a slant on a healthy lifestyle for all, not just for athletes.
To find out more about VP Sports Development candidate Steve Gore, read his manifesto here.