Candidate interview: Dean Crabb

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Dean Crabb
Bowland

Wants to improve welfare of sports teams
Help teams fund experienced coaches
Use Founders experience to organise Roses

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Dean Crabb insists that not currently being a member of a university sports team or society is actually beneficial, as it prevents him from being biased towards a particular group, “even sub-consciously”. He also promises equal attention for any sport or society that has a problem.

“I’m not saying that all people in the past who have been members of teams have been biased, I think that would be unfair to say, but even from my experience of sports reps – I was on the darts team and players would ask for extra money, but I knew it wouldn’t be fair to give it to them when there were more pressing needs. I think there’s none of that, and it means I can be completely equal and give everyone a fair hearing.”

Crabb disputes the suggestion that this would in fact lead to a lack of understanding of how university teams operate. “Obviously that’s the counter argument to it. I would like to say ‘no’ because I am friends with people in the hockey [team], the basketball [team]. I know how they function. Obviously they’ve got the chair, the captain, so I wouldn’t say [I have] a lack of knowledge.”

The key issue facing whoever is elected, Crabb believes, is Roses 2012. He thinks that the key to achieving a successful event is through the organisation. The experience Crabb says he can offer to show that he can do this is through Founders, the annual sporting competition between Bowland and Lonsdale colleges, which he helped organise as one of the former’s sports representatives.

Another theme in Crabb’s plan is representation and a focus on welfare of those playing sport. He said: “I think I can give everyone an equal footing. I can represent everyone’s views quite fairly, and obviously make sure that all sports and societies have a voice, that they feel represented. Maybe it’s all about the winning rather than the actual welfare of the team. I think maybe, obviously, it’s nice to win, but teams need to enjoy it, that’s the ultimate thing.”

Regarding the increase in tuition fees over the next few years and any improvements that need to be made to the student experience as a result, Crabb feels that floor space needs to be increased, while sports teams need proper coaches.

“One of the main concerns I have regarding sports teams is that a lot of them don’t have coaches, and I think that makes a huge difference,” he said. “At the minute a lot of teams are paying out of their own pocket for it, or the budget’s being stretched to cover it, and I don’t think that’s acceptable, because that makes a huge difference.”

He continued: “I think people feel they are getting enough, but there’s a little bit more with the welfare, that people think they’re being cared for. And maybe if they’re paying that much more a year, maybe the gym membership should be looked at; maybe some concessions could be made if we have a good relationship with them.”

As Inter-College Sports Officer, Crabb is heavily involved in the running of the Carter Shield. He thinks attendance on competition is currently good, but can be improved. He believes it should be “revamped” and that JCR sports representatives should be more passionate and positive about the competition, as well as promoting it more.

“Something that I find is that some reps feel like it’s a bit of a chore,” he said. “If they enjoy it, it makes other people enjoy it. At the end of the day, if you say role models it’s quite patronising, but they are, they’re the ones that other students will look at it.”

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