Sam, the current President of the University’s Rifle Club has competed at all levels, as a member of the Hampshire Junior Rifle Team, the English Universities Rifle Team, the Great Britain U21 Rifle Team and the Welsh Rifle Team. He’s got his eye firmly on the target and talks to the Scene about excelling and managing Sport but also his personal quest to put back into the AU.
Why have you decided to run for this position?
I’ve got a lot out of the AU since I’ve been at Uni. To be honest it’s one of the only reasons that I stayed on my course. I didn’t get as much enjoyment out of my actual course, obviously, I love the whole student experience but that wasn’t enough to keep me on at Uni and that’s why sport has been a real saviour for me. I see how much it’s offered to me in my sport, the AU has been really good to us but I think the AU could support more sports, it could be a lot better.
Why is this position important to you, personally?
I want to be part of the team that runs the AU so we can reach out and get more people involved with the AU as a whole. Sport, whilst being at Uni, has been more important to me than I ever thought it would be. I love the people management side of this role, that was one of the best things about being Captain of my own club. The rewards I got from managing a successful team and being able to look back and see how far you’ve come is something that I’d like to achieve with the whole Athletic Union. It’s all about making a difference, I want to rise to the challenge and take it forward. Instead of being sat behind the desk making decisions I want to get out there and meet the clubs and actually get to know them. In all the time I’ve been at Uni Jonny’s been the only one who’s actually come down and asked, ‘what’s going on with your sport?’
My sport is not a mainstream sport so I appreciate that but at the same time I don’t care what sport people do as long as they get enjoyment from it. I see the value in it regardless of the sport.
What can you give to this position that other nominees can’t?
I’ve competed at all levels, from club level when I first started, through to International level and almost Commonwealth level which is where I am now. It’s taken me a very long time to get there and I have struggled along the way but I appreciate the value of supporting people at whatever level, I’m not just saying you have to be international, if it’s the first team or the county team I see the value in that. Having competed for the University but also outside of it at County level I really understand how competition works. In terms of my own management experience, for my Dissertation I am streamlining the whole Engineering Admissions process, so I’m assisting a department that has also been through massive changes and trying to do the same thing with them.
How will you build on the work already done by Jonny?
I think Jonny’s done a fantastic job, he’s put a lot of effort into it, securing the plans for the gym at Wide Lane among other things. I don’t want to come in and drop everything, the things that he’s got in motion right now and has been planning I’m really going to push for. But I do want to get a large input from the AU as a whole and not just be making big decisions on my own.
What is your main election strategy?
Just to get out there and get myself known because I was a bit of a surprise candidate, I haven’t really talked to that many people about doing it. I just decided that I thought I could do it and got my campaign team together. It’s going well, I’ve got all my publicity sorted out, it’s just a case of getting my name out there and talking to people and getting feedback about what people really want.
Have you any previous experience working or volunteering for SUSU run organisations?
I’ve only really been involved in my own sport but beyond that I am involved with the AU committee.
Probably my main regret at Uni is not getting involved sooner because I’d have loved the chance to have got onto the AU exec.
In my first year I didn’t really understand the AU but it’s important that people understand that it’s not just a big administrative organisation it is a family.
What do you feel this position will bring to your future career prospects?
I am largely doing it out of enjoyment, it’s not a stepping stone for me because I want to do it.
It’s one last chance for me to put back into the AU before I leave.
In terms of the management side of it, that’s the kind of career that I’d like to have, I like having objectives to meet and people to please, I get a lot of enjoyment out of the challenge. I think it will help whatever job I go into.
If you could hold office for one day what would you do?
For one day I would update and organise all of the forms and the organisational side of the AU. I’d also organise the website making it user-friendly. I’d just sort a lot of things out .