The Athletic Union (AU) is the umbrella term for the University of Manchester sports teams, competing against other Universities in BUCS (British University and College Sports). The AU consists of 87 teams across 36 sports, separated into 42 different sports clubs and the focus is about representing the University of Manchester in competitive sport.
The Executive Committee head up the Athletic Union and consist of the following posts:
- Sport Sabbatical Office (SSO)
- Events Officer
- BUCS Wednesday Officer
- Events Based Sports Representative (BUCS)
- Communications Officer
The roles are elected at the Summer AGM and these blogs aim to give you an insight into what each of the roles entail.
Athletic Union Executive Communications Officer
Equestrian Athletic Union Club
I was elected as an AU exec this time last year alongside Perry Wilson. I have taken enormous pleasure in being an AU exec and have enjoyed the activities and opportunities that I have been involved with varying from standing on the AU stand at the Fresher’s Fair to attending meetings about the XXI Club!
As an AU exec you are expected to attend the Fresher’s Fairs, Club Forums and all AU meetings. The Fresher’s fair is at the beginning of the year and is a chance for us to advertise the AU at its best and to also offer advice to our students and encourage their involvement in sport either at a competitive or recreational level. The Fresher’s Fair also gives you a chance to walk around and meet the committees of all of the clubs and get to know them – it is important to build relations with the club as you will be in contact and involved with them throughout the year! It also gives you the opportunity to meet new people and learn about sports you might not have been aware of!
Attending all club forums has also been a prominent part as my role as an AU exec. The forums are an opportunity to speak to the clubs committee members about the system and structure of the AU and it is also a chance for the clubs to feedback to the AU and raise any relevant issues or queries. As an exec you’re also expected to attend other talks organised by the AU. For example, last semester I attended a talk by Louise Englefield who wanted to raise awareness for LGBT through the sports teams wearing rainbow coloured laces and displaying the LGBT flag at BUCS Wednesday matches.
As an AU Exec you become very close to all the different sports clubs and teams that Manchester has to offer. As a communications executive my role is to act as a link between the sports clubs and your AU Chair. I communicate with all the clubs on a monthly basis, gathering their success stories so the AU Chair can showcase them in Curiously Purple Network Newsletter. I have done this mainly through Facebook this year, creating a group page for all of the club Presidents, Captains and Social Secretary’s; social media I have found is better than sending everyone countless emails! This I would say has been the best part of my job, as its lovely to hear about all the different clubs successes and achievements and see photos of their victories!
I have spent time this year with the prestigious XXI Club. The XXI Club is an alumni club for elected members who have achieved great success in their University sporting area or for members who have given an outstanding contribution to sport. As part of my role I have tried to raise awareness of the club by producing a poster diagram on the XXI club making students aware of its existence and what it takes to be elected into the club. Other things I have been involved in have included; designing an AU Christmas Tree displaying all of the Club Presidents and Team Captains names and their contact details, with an aim of circulating club details, making it easy for club committees to be contacted by each other.
There are huge benefits and rewards to becoming an AU exec. I have enjoyed a free gym membership to the Armitage, tickets to the AU Christmas Ball and Summer Awards Ball, free entry to all AU nights and finally free exec kit, which you’re expected to wear at all events where you are representing the AU. You don’t have to be a spectacular athlete to be an AU exec, you just have to be able to dedicate a small part of your time to the AU, helping them to make The University of Manchester sports teams and clubs the best they can be. It’s fun, it’s sociable, it looks fantastic on your CV and as part and parcel of the role you get to enjoy some of the best opportunities.
For further information please go to http://www.sport.manchester.ac.uk/sport/athleticunion/.