ON THE 19th of November, Activities Officer Kelly Keat held the first of this academic years Sport Zone meetings. As well as connecting with the sports clubs of the university, and letting them voice any questions or concerns, there was also a lot of information relayed; some of it pertaining to future events but also talking about the recent adoption for Akuma as kit supplier and the plan proposed by business consultants KKP to renovate the sports facilities at the university.
Before moving onto the bigger topics, there were words from part-time officers, introducing themselves and any ideas they had for the clubs. RAG (Raising & Giving) Officer Luke thanked the clubs for their ongoing individual RAG events and suggested two ideas that all the clubs could choose to opt in to. One was a 5k Colour Run, and the other was a Jailbreak challenge, setting students the task of hitchhiking as far as possible within 36 hours for charity.
Keat then went on to explain in more detail the agreement the Students’ Union had with its new kit supplier. Many club members at the meeting had experienced problems making order with Akuma at the start of the year, and due to the gear being necessary to compete in BUCS and get players onto travelling coaches, it was clear tensions had been strained.
It was explained that over the summer the Union had been approached by various suppliers and that Akuma was best suited to tailor to many different clubs’ needs at the most reasonable price for students. Alternatives were Ffigar, who had been labelled as slow and with limited stock, and Underarmour, who were much more expensive. Though ‘teething problems’ had been apparent and there were ‘mixed feelings about the kit change’, Keat stressed the importance of the deal in the long-term for the Union and clubs alike, better bringing Tim/Team Aber together to support other teams and hopefully thrash Bangor on away soil next term for Varsity.
Second on the agenda was the discussion of the business plan proposed by consulting firm KKP, who presented their findings to an audience of students and officers back in May 2015. The plan incorporated elements of the sports facilities already present on campus with modifications; the recarpeting of the existing astro turf to make it safe and even, an improved sports cage and the replacement of the sports centre with an entirely new building in the same place, only better equipped and with more parking. A full copy of the 60-plus page report is to be made available to students soon.
Lastly, some key dates were thrown out, including the splitting of Superteams over two weekends, starting with the Women’s competition 26th-28th February, and the Men’s the following weekend. Varsity was also confirmed to be 16th April.
As the meeting ended, Kelly included that there was help available for sports committees should they need it, whether there were members who found themselves out of their depth, notable by their absence, or were causing friction within clubs. For more information see either Kelly or Gav Allen in the SU Offices.