Josie Jessop, a final-year English student at the University of Nottingham, is campaigning to be the next SU Sports Officer.
We had a chat to find out more about Josie and what she would bring to sport at the university… so grab a cup of tea and have a read!
Hey Josie! Why are you running to be Sports Officer?
Sport has always been a huge part of my life. It has gifted me with countless opportunities and the best friends I could ever ask for. That is exactly why I’m running to be the 2020/21 Sports Officer. I’d love nothing more than to use my passion and love for sport to make the already brilliant sport provision at UoN even better for other students.
What do you think qualifies you for this role?
From a young age, sport has always been an important aspect of my life and I have such a clear passion for it. I’d love nothing more than the chance to give the same opportunity back to others because personally, I am beyond grateful for all the opportunities that sport has offered me. As a former Social Secretary and now standing President of UoNWFC, I understand the importance of responsibility and accountability in a leadership position. My experiences as a performance athlete means I know how much effort and dedication that is required in the running of a sport club at university while still competing at the highest level. I know the importance of working as a team whether this is as a committee member or player. Therefore, I try to use this to gather fair and balanced views on situations. As a person, I have a very empathic nature meaning I am beyond committed to doing all in my power to make situations better for others when and where I can. I would love and take pride in transferring these qualities to a larger audience and would see no better way than to try and have a positive impact through giving back to sport at university.
What do you believe you can bring to the Sports Officer role that others cannot?
I am not someone to do anything half-heartedly. Therefore, I believe that if elected, I would be a Sports Officer that is passionate about all sport at the university, dedicated to ensuring everyone was accounted for and had access to sport. I would truly care about any problems that people faced and do everything in my power to help.
You say in your manifesto about wanting to revamp Varsity to make it bigger and better. How do you plan to fund this?
I acknowledge that next year’s Varsity will be unlike any other, with COVID-19 causing a lot of economic strain, I’d look for other, cost-effective ways to revamp Varsity. But, we have the benefit of having a HUGE student body in a vibrant city. Why not utilise it?
There are a lot of students who already volunteer for the university in events such as Big BUCS Wednesday, festivals & coaching in general. That is what gives me confidence to know the student body we have at the university would also give their time to contribute to making varsity better. Student photographers & media and marketing secretaries within sport clubs can use the event for work experience. The photos they take can be used within their own portfolios what they can use in future job interviews. By including as many sports as possible in the varsity series it would hopefully encourage more support and general excitement over the event. Clubs could easily do their own promoting at both UoN and Trent. The Varsity events themselves can be used as ways to make money – selling more Varsity merchandise across all university campuses, for example. To maintain the high level of engagement, in light of COVID-19, I will look into the possibilities of streaming fixtures, keeping in line with governmental social distancing guidelines should they still be in place.
How will you ensure gender equality at Varsity?
Gender equality is a topic that is really important to me personally. Growing up as one of 5 daughters, my dad has always encouraged me to get involved in sport and not ever let anything hold you back. Hence why my dissertation topic is centred around equal representation for women in sport. I would ensure gender equality by promoting, publishing and organising events in complete equity.
You talk in your manifesto about holding networking events in the Autumn and Spring. How would you get people to engage with these events?
I would set up an open group/page that all members of sport clubs would be invited to. On the page, I would post the the networking events so everyone on the page would be aware. I would try to incorporate as much diversity into the event to attract a diversity of people to the event. I would contact an abundance of sport clubs and societies to help run the event through members of the groups. The event would be student-led, with a range of volunteers helping to organise it from sport clubs and societies. It would mutually beneficial, giving all the societies and sport clubs involved exposure. For example, societies could provide the musical entertainment, student photographers could use the event for work experience and build portfolios as mentioned earlier and it could be an event fuelled by the combined effort from a range of different societies and sports clubs.
You mention in your manifesto that you want IMS sport to be more integrated. How do you plan to do this?
This point comes from seeing the huge benefits of having IMS integrated into my own club, with increased attendance to socials and greater involvement within club events throughout the year. If elected, I plan to integrate IMS into sports clubs more effectively by setting up support and networking groups for IMS Executives, IMS Secretaries and Sport Clubs themselves, as-well as multiple online support groups to make communication easy and efficient. I would build upon initiatives such as the IMS All-Star Event that was meant to happen this year. This point comes from seeing the huge benefits of having IMS integrated into my own club, with increased attendance to socials and greater involvement within club events throughout the year. Ultimately, I think that everyone should have access to all aspects of sport at UoN!