Sports President candidate Edd Keeler believes he can bring a fresh perspective to the sport union if he is elected next week.
Keeler told Brig that his time working as part of committees, and interacting with regular students, makes him the right choice:
“What I bring is a slightly fresher perspective and I’m in touch with a lot of regular members of the union. I have been part of committees and worked with the union, but I also think I have a lot of relatable experience.
“It’s not going to be that if I get elected it’s me on my own. There are multiple full time members of staff who have been there for years who would be able to help me. As well as that I can bring a fresh perspective, and take a different direction, and a different way to shine light on certain issues.
“I believe what I bring with my ideas about accessibility, I can bring a fresh perspective. If someone new comes in and says, ‘why can’t we do this?’ It might be the case that five years ago we couldn’t do it, but now we can.”
Keeler was also keen to highlight mental health as a key point in his manifesto:
“There’s so many great initiatives and campaigns that go around our campus. You look at Movember, the green ribbon campaign, peg talk, all of these little things. I’d really like to bring them together, and make them so that everyone gets involved. That way, we can have a really open conversation about mental health at university.
“There’s statistics out there that say only 2% of students live stress free. Mental health is so important for me as I’ve seen it in my friends and in myself that you go through so many changes at university. It’s a time when a lot of people develop issues with their mental health. I think having good mental health is the building block for life.
“There’s already some great stuff going on with mental health first aid courses, I’d really push to get people to go to these. We try and give as many people the tools to deal with these issues in the first instance, as well as then being able to guide them to different channels of help. As a sport union I just want it to be an open and welcoming environment.”
Keeler also aims to improve accessibility to sport around the campus:
“I think recently there has been some issues on campus, which I’ve discovered while speaking to students with disabilities. I have a friend who was going to take part in accessible swimming on a Saturday, but there was no support worker able to take him from accommodation to the pool at that time. It’s probably just an oversight, but there’s no discussion to make sure that people can actually get there. There’s these things happening, but sometimes people just miss these little details that are key.
“The sport centre at the moment isn’t accessible to people in wheelchairs. If you want to get there you need to go a really roundabout way, because the path down to it is so steep. I want to increase the number of events that are open to people of all ability levels. I don’t want it to just be that we have accessible sport and we have regular sport, it’s that we have sport on campus.”
Keeler is also confident that the current situation with kit will be resolved before a new sport president is elected:
“That should be sorted already before myself or Craig go into office. We’ll be in with a new supplier, that’s the intention of the sport union at the moment. It’s just about liaising with them, making sure there isn’t any hiccups as we hand over the baton, and keep a good line of communication.”
Keeler would also hope to replicate current sport president, Gill Thayne, in her friendly nature:
“Gill’s been a really friendly and bubbly personality around the union and I want to continue that. I think she’s a very approachable individual, and I really hope to bring that as well. I think I’ve got some different focuses, which isn’t a bad thing, she’s done really well on what she’s focused on. I’d love to focus on some new areas.”
Voting opens Monday 9 March at 9am and closes Tuesday 10 March at 6:15pm.