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Paul McCarthy is a third-year Economics student who is running for the position of VP Sports Officer. Throughout his time at Lancaster Paul has been involved in several sports teams and held important positions on JCR Execs and various sports societies. He has been the Sports Representative for Lonsdale College JCR; a member of the Football and Bar Sports teams, including Captain of the Dominoes team. He has also been Vice Captain and Exec member of the University Cricket Team.
In our interview when asked about his motivations for the position, Paul says that since he has had such a fulfilling experience at university, he wants to give something back “to the university that has given [him] such a great experience.” His motivations also lie in the need for changes to be made to the current system of communication between the Student’s Union and college sports teams. “There is absolutely no intercommunication.” In order to remedy this, Paul suggests the possibility of termly meetings between College JCRs and the VP Sports Officer to encourage better and clearer communication between the two and then these meetings can be used as a foundation for planning larger events throughout the year like Roses, Carter Shield, Founders and BUCS. This can also allow for exec members to deliver information to students who may be interested in joining a sports team and thus direct them to the right person to talk to regarding participation.
This is one of the main goals outlined in Paul’s manifesto. He outlines five key goals that he hopes to achieve if he is elected; these include an increased participation in LUSU organised College Sports events like the Carter Shield tournament; focus on Mental Health within sports teams; win an away Roses; increase transparency in the Student’s Union and improve communications between College and University Sports Execs.
He reiterates that his manifesto is ‘simple, believable and achievable’. In terms of targeting simple aims, Paul describes wanting to focus on mental health within College JCRs and Sports team execs. He wants to create an existing welfare officer for execs dedicated to mental health, particularly regarding the ‘Look After Your Mate’ workshops or other similar workshops which would become mandatory for these members of the Exec. “I want people to be able to sit down and have open, honest and non-judgemental conversations.”
In comparison to the other candidates, Paul says that he prides himself on being involved in both aspects of the university sports, both on the university and college front. Paul is hoping that should he be elected his experience of working on both the university and college sides of sports this will help to meet his goal of better communication between the two organisations. “I’ve got experience with both and I’m hoping this will allow the two to merge together because at the moment they are so separate.”
The biggest issue Paul recognises is the lack of communication from the role of VP Sports in the past and the Student’s Union as a whole regarding sports which is subsequently limiting the accessibility of sports opportunities to students. To tackle this, Paul wants more transparency from the Student’s Union with weekly updates on what the VP Sports is working on to keep the rest of the Student’s Union, College JCRs and students up to date.