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What is your role?

The Sport Executive Officer, has two main job roles. The first is as the President of Loughborough’s Athletic Union, which consists of managing the Athletic Union Executive, overseeing the 55 AU Clubs, and dealing with Athletic Union operations and strategy. The second part of the role is to serve as the lead student representative for the whole sporting offer. This encompasses chairing the student sport senate, representing student views to the University and other external organisations, and undertaking projects to benefit the student experience.

What have you been focusing on this year?

These 7 month has been a real period of change. We are almost at the point of achieving my vision of 100% sustainable Athletic Union clubs and from that have been able to overhaul our grant funding system. This comes off the back of the additional £165,000 of funding I managed to secure from the University over the summer, putting the Athletic Union into a completely different place from the financial position at the start of my term 18 months ago.

We’ve looked at new ways to raise our communication channels with the return of WoW proving popular, and the introduction of Hall Sport Co-ordinators. I’ve overseen a huge restructure of the AU Exec, increasing from 8 members to 35, and in particular our new Club Development section has really taken off, enabling the AU to offer more on the ground support to clubs than ever before.

My final big piece before I leave is writing a strategy for sport for the Student’s Union, which is well underway and all going to plan should be ready for release in May.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

This role is large scale and carries with it a huge amount of responsibility. Overseeing 55 clubs, 35 AU Exec & sub-committee members, acting budget controller for a section of over £800k and trying to implement a sporting programme that benefits thousands of students, whilst maintaining our reputation as the No. 1 sporting University. This is just the tip of the iceberg for an average day in the office, and that is the toughest challenge. I often work 60/70 hour weeks, I could double that and I still couldn’t do it all. Prioritising the really key components and finding time amongst all the ad hoc stuff that comes flying your way to do the important bits you set out to is far easier than it sounds, and a real challenge for a 1 year elected officer.

What makes a good candidate for your role?

Ideally the candidate needs a strong understanding of the Athletic Union, which is a complex beast, but also a wider appreciation for the rest of the sporting offer. They need to be able to problem solve, working with clubs and students with very different issues, as well as being hugely organised and able to manage a heavy workload. A great candidate would be progressive, politically aware of the changing nature of sport both inside of Loughborough and out, and be a reliable figure to represent the views of our student body.

Luke Thomson
Luke Thomson
Sport EO 2015/17