Matt Bugler, Online Sports Editor, sets out the key issues candidates for the Athletic Union Presidency will be addressing in this year’s election…
The candidates running to be President of the Athletic Union (AU) this year will confront a number of issues in their manifestos.
One major issue will be the prices at the Sports Park, which rose considerably this academic year with the introduction of the Russell Seal Fitness Centre. Gold membership increased by £15 to £240, but the most considerable increases effect those on standard membership. Peak price rose from £3.80 to £5, while off-peak price rose from £2.20 to £3.50.
Similarly, AU club membership fees may be tackled by candidates. From this year, every club charges £20 which goes towards the sports park to cover costs such as insurance and facilities. However, some club fees have risen without this introduction, with the Tennis club, for example, increasing their fee from £65 in 2011/12 to £80 in 2012/13.
Exeter is one of the most successful sporting universities in the country, and came fifth overall in last year’s BUCS table. Nevertheless, candidates may wish to increase participation further to get more students active in sports and increase competition for places. This may extend to intramural competitions, and candidates may wish to have more sports available for intramural, as well as dealing with issues such as costs and organisation. They may also want to face the issue of coaching, perhaps looking at giving more options for Exeter students.
One other issue to be considered is that of sport club culture. Although there has been a ban on sports initiations since a student died in 2006, clubs are often accused of putting pressure on students, especially freshers, to drink more alcohol than they desire. The next AU President may wish to combat this and promote a safe atmosphere in sports club socials.
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