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Nouse Interviews... Maddi Cannell

The York Sport Union President-elect speaks about her plans for 2019/20

Image: YUSU

What made you want to run for York Sport President?


Having been the Goodricke Sports Officer last year, and the President of Women’s Football this year, I’ve been able to see the problems sport at York faces on both a College level and at the more competitive University level.



One of your policies was to promote more students getting into refereeing. How would this work?


Many clubs have to get referees from outside agencies to come in and cover their games, which costs money as it is. When we’ve got almost 18,000 students at York, it doesn’t make sense to bring external people in. By making a short-term investment in encouraging students to earn refereeing qualifications, we will save money in the long run, and provide people with a skill that will stay with them long after University.



Engaging more students from off campus is always a common feature in Sports manifestos. What will you do to make sure you achieve this?


As  President of Women’s Football, I’ve seen the problems of not engaging with students off campus first hand. We’ve had countless numbers of keen players come to us halfway through the BUCS season asking when the trials are, only to be told they were held at the end of September. I would like to work with accommodation providers by having both College and University sports captains go in at the start of each term, making it clear when trials and training take place. Students from off campus are also discouraged by some of the training times that teams have. One example is the Cheerleading team, who train on Monday nights between 10pm and midnight. This isn’t OK, especially with the 66 being so unreliable.



What physical steps will you take to tackle mental health issues?


A few weeks ago, I went to  a  Student Minds talk here on campus which was fantastic. It was really eye-opening, and gave me loads of possible ideas as to how we can deal with mental health. I’d like to work with StudentMinds on campus, but also collaborate with York Mind, who are based off campus. I know BEAT are involved with Roses this year too. Knowing what to say to your friends when they’re struggling is so important, and something I really want to highlight. 



Akuma have been pretty shambolic as a kit supplier. As a Law Student, can York students expect positive change?


I’d certainly hope we can expect! Akuma have been pretty dreadful for a lot of clubs over the last two years. When we left Surride, we were promised better, but things have actually got worse. I know efforts are being made now to try and resolve the problems, but for me it’s too little,w too late, and compensation is something I believe we should consider. So many clubs have missed out on kit. Over the summer, I’d like to collate a Google form that people can fill in, so we can get plenty of information to present to Akuma about this issue.



York Sport isn’t directly controlled by YUSU, but you’ve stated you want to try and get them to reduce their costs. Is this too ambitious?


Obviously, I want to achieve this policy, but I’m not promising that it will definitely happen! Lots of my manifesto is about fine-tuning things and making areas like gym membership and participation more accessible. What I do think is unfair though is that lots of students pay individual gym membership, but then have to pay additional fees on top of this to use the facilites with their clubs. There should be a way of collaborating these two, so costs for students can be brought down.

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