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Anna Kettle is extremely passionate about making sports and societies safer, and altogether a better thing to be part of. It’s the stuff that she enjoys most at University and it’s obvious that she wants to help benefit all societies.
“Pretty much as soon as I started getting involved with societies I realised that there are things I recognised as problems, and I felt I could at least try and make better for people,” she says. Kettle currently sits on the societies committee so already has a valuable insight into the logistics and administration behind it all.
Kettle puts lots of her experience down to being the president of Lancaster Debating Union, as this brought a close working relationship with LUSU to organise competitions in schools, as well as their large annual debating competition. “It functions a lot of the time like a sports club,” she explains, “we have training every week, we work hard at what we do and we put a lot of time and effort into it like a sports team would.”
It’s interesting to see how she compares her non-sporting society to a sports club, because sports societies are perhaps least represented in her manifesto. “I think that currently our sports team do a very good job of being represented, and I would continue on Jack’s work with the JustPlay scheme,” she says. She also highlighted how the majority of work around sport is done through LUSU staff, who help the VP Activities with these large student groups.
Her main emphasis is on inclusion, calling for Women+ gym groups, as well as permanent storage space for international students over the summer so they do not have to worry about this when they return home out of term time. Whilst her campaign points focus on Women+ individuals, Kettle said she has spoken to students with disabilities about the role disability sports play. “If we can have representatives from these minorities on the poster and on the field, it will massively help as a driving force,” she says. Kettle credits her focus on inclusion on her work in liberation groups on campus, specifically Women+ Forum where she has worked on campaigns around getting women+ individuals more involved across campus.
Also, at Roses, Kettle would like for sports with disabilities to be worth Roses points for the first time. She explained, “I think that the normalisation and inclusion for students of sports with disabilities can only come from a top down push.” Similarly, she wants to make sure that Roses is tolerable and enjoyable for all, having been aware of harassment at previous competitions.
The thing she’d change the most about Activities in LUSU is the introduction of mandatory consent training for execs as a way to address the issue of sexual assault that campuses across the country face. She believes this training could be delivered similarly to the data protection training execs must do to access the NUS digital website on the administration side. She concedes that some students would blindly click through the online training, but says “the fact you’re made to look at it in some way should be enough to prompt some thought.” She also believes this training should also focus on things like diversity and how to help execs work with international students as a tool for broadening engagement.
Kettle seems happy with how sports and activities are run at the moment, but always wants to seek more improvement, especially around welfare issues.
Trivia: Anna detailed the system through which societies apply for and receive funding.