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Communication, Collaboration and Change are key for Sports Pres candidate Charlton

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Sport and Exercise student Sophie Charlton is hoping to bring a new lease of life to the role of Sports President, if elected, as the student population moves out of Covid-19 restrictions over the summer.

The fourth year is going up against Edd Keeler, who has been in the role this past year.

Whilst she admits that Keeler is the safe option, Charlton argues that she can be the one to revitalise the student community as a return to sport looks closer than ever. As the President of Women’s Hockey, Charlton has experience of leading a club through this period of uncertainty – experience that she believes will be transferrable into this role.

Charlton said: “You can only run for two years, so I think it’s best to have a bit of change and to bring in a new lease of life into the role. 

“I’ve been a president of a club this last year through Covid, so I have the experience of running a club and feel like I can transfer that into a more broad basis. 

“I have experience of making sure that everyone is able to participate on all levels. We’ve got five teams within our club, so it’s quite a large club and making sure that there were opportunities for everyone was a massive priority. 

“I feel like I’d be able to bring all that experience into the vital role of representing all the clubs here at Stirling.” 

Recovery is one of Charlton’s main focuses in her manifesto, with most Stirling students having faced a year without sport.

“We need to make sure that there are solid plans in place, so not only an optimistic Plan A where we get back to play and return to sport as fast as possible, but also contingency plans. 

“Not all clubs, as we’ve seen this past year are going to be in the same position come September, and they’re not going to be in the same position restriction wise.  

“Some will be allowed to train same as normal, some may have socially distanced training, and some may still only be online, so it’s definitely important to have different plans in place for different clubs.” 

Charlton wants to ensure that sport at Stirling is collaborative, fun and welcoming, pointing to past collaborations between societies as an inspiration for the future. A strengthening of the bleed green community is also a priority, through strong communication with, and between, clubs and societies.

“I think it would be great to try to facilitate more links between clubs and societies.

“It may be the case that we could have within the university we could have certain tournaments, for example, I know a couple of years back American football took on different clubs at their own sports. Women’s Hockey have also recently collaborated with the Uni Boob team.

“Being able to try and make people aware that societies can come and talk to clubs and clubs can invite societies to come and try their sport, is a great way to get new and current members involved in activities. 

“Hopefully if we can have some sort of buzz and hype around the Sports Bazaar in September and people will then be able to approach club presidents and different types of clubs and societies to try and see how they can join.” 

Finally, when asked why she was the best candidate for the role, Charlton said: “I’ve been a member of the Sports Exec Committee, so I’ve already had that engagement and that contact time with our part time officers.

“As president of women’s hockey, I’ve been in contact with our national governing bodies, such as BUCS and Triple S to try and make sure that hockey was able to return to play in September, which we were successful in doing until restrictions hit. I feel like I can take all this experience into the Sports President Role.”

You can read Charlton’s manifesto here.

Voting opens on the March 8 at 9a.m., and closes on March 9 at 6.15p.m.

Featured Image Credit: Sophie Charlton

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