Kiera Spencer-Hayles

Candidate for Vice President Sports

  • Giving recognition and a community everyone deserves
  • Improving participation for all communities
  • Improvement in all sporting facilties particularly in halls
  • Creating a Team Southampton App
  • Celebrate achievements of all athletes both intermural and competitive

Why vote for me?

My focus for wanting to become VP Sports is giving everyone within the sporting community at the university the recognition and community they deserve. As a current president of a sporting society, I have been working alongside the union to try to bring sports to everyone and if elected VP Sport, I will continue to do so by improving participation to all sports clubs for LBGTQ+, BAME as well as disabilities and continuing to push the important message of inclusivity within sport. Whilst continuing to spread the message of inclusivity, I want to be able to,using the correct training, look into combatting microaggression within sports; as this is not a well educated topic amongst teams and is an issue which has gone under the radar for far too long.

I want to lobby for the improvement of all sporting facilities allowing all students, no matter the location, the high quality that is provided at Jubilee and Mayflower gyms. Celebrating our athletes is very important to me, not only women in sports but BAME, disabilities and the LBGTQ+ communities as well. I would love to see, not only the competitive teams being recognised, but I want to celebrate those who partake in intermural teams and all of their sporting achievements.

As an IT student with experience with application development, I want to work alongside a team with app development experience to create a Team Southampton app that will allow all sports societies to view BUCS fixtures and results as well as other events, record team achievements and training schedules, ensure promotion of clubs with contact details and give students alternatives if they want to join in with a sport but not sure if the competitive side is for them.

I want to see more recognition for all sports societies for when they are going above and beyond what is asked of them with a reward/point system when a club is showing development and engagement within the university and wider community with this as only select few sport societies are doing this currently but aren’t receiving the true recognition that they deserve.  

 

Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

What are you going to do to support lesser known and less popular sports to get more publicity/funding/awareness? As they need more help to get people to join than more common sports that people already know/have played before uni

Coming from a lesser known sporting society, social media has been our number one asset. If elected VP Sports, I want to utilise our social media platforms and holding sporting spotlights for those smaller clubs in order to give them the recognition they deserve. Another thing I would do is with the development of the app, is to have a section that would enable us to show off clubs and highlight to the athletes and the clubs themselves.

This question was also asked to Samuel Tweedle, Luke JefferiesAnswered by Kiera on 21/02/20 10:05

What does SUSU mean to you? If you were to define its values in 5 words, what would they be?

To me, SUSU is an organisation that has really allowed me to blossom as a person over my academic career. I have been supported and allowed to develop and discover skills and traits I would never thought I would have. If it wasn’t for SUSU and the amazing staff and students that form it, I would have never found the passion for my sport, the belief that I would be able to unlock to passion within someone else or the understanding of how important sport is towards your physical and mental health. If I was to describe its values in 5 words, those would be: Community Brave Respect Empowering Freedom

This question was also asked to Samuel Tweedle, Luke JefferiesAnswered by Kiera on 25/02/20 23:28

What was wrong with the Mayflower FC incident and what would you have done?

I personally believe that the Mayflower FC incident and the behaviour that was displayed in the video clip is not acceptable. I cannot fully comment on the situation as it was firstly a university investigation rather than a SUSU led one but I do believe that stricter punishments need to happen for incidents like this. Racism in sports, particularly football, when combined with alcohol is more present than ever now and as a society overall we need to work together to eradicate it. This may take time but as a union we can take the first step towards this overall goal. I really want to introduce a better understanding of the WIDE training for all committee members especially focusing in more on micro aggressions and how actions like these can lead to a breeding ground for ignorance and racist ideas which is not what, as a union, we stand for. I would also want to include within the WIDE the repercussions that events like this can have on students later in life as ‘ banter’ that was seen here will now be following all those involved for the rest of their lives. There should be a zero tolerance policy against these types of incidents and any clubs found doing so should face harsher consequences. We use expect respect for a reason, not just a banner to fly outside. We truly mean that everyone should be treated with respect and give respect.

This question was also asked to Samuel Tweedle, Luke JefferiesAnswered by Kiera on 25/02/20 23:29

Is there a problem of racism and exclusion in sport? If so, how will you deal with it?

Racism in sports, when combined with alcohol, is more present than ever now and as a society overall we need to work together to eradicate it. This may take time but as a Union, we can take the first step towards this overall goal. I do believe that stricter punishments need to happen for incidents. I want to introduce a better understanding of the WIDE training for all committee members especially focusing in more on microaggressions and how actions like these can lead to a breeding ground for ignorance and racist ideas which is not what, as a union, we stand for. I would also want to include within the WIDE the repercussions that events like this can have on students later in life as ‘ banter’ that was seen here will now be following all those involved for the rest of their lives. There should be a zero-tolerance policy against racism incidents and any clubs found doing so should face harsher consequences. As a current president of a sporting society, I have been working alongside the union to try to bring sports to everyone and if elected VP Sport, I will continue to do so by improving participation to all sports clubs for LGBTQ+, BAME as well as disabilities and continuing to push the important message of inclusivity within sport. I would like to do this by creating events to help encourage inclusion in conjunction with WIDE training to continue to build a safe environment for everyone to participate. Celebrating our athletes is very important to me, not only women in sports but BAME, disabilities and the LGBTQ+ communities as well. I would love to see, not only the competitive teams being recognised, but I want to celebrate those who partake in intramural teams and all of their sporting achievements by utilising our social media platforms and creating a Team Southampton app that will improve communication within societies, clubs and the information provided to everyone to give everyone the recognition and community that they deserve. We use expect respect for a reason, not just a banner to fly outside. We truly mean that everyone should be treated with respect and give respect.

This question was also asked to Samuel Tweedle, Luke JefferiesAnswered by Kiera on 27/02/20 12:11

How would you improve the facilities and experiences of students who want to take part in non-competitive sports such as intramural?

As part of my manifesto, I want to encourage more participation within non-competitive sports. As the facilities within sport and wellbeing are for everyone, no matter if they are competitive or not, I want to lobby for equipment improvement in all facilities especially the halls to bring them up to the standard that all of our athletes deserve. I would like to sit down with a range of students and the sports and wellbeing team to get the opinions on what students want and need in order to progress in their sport. My predecessor was able to get the sports pass down to £50 which is amazing to encourage more people into non competitive sports. I want to continue to push for lower prices and the free sport sessions that have been put into place this year. I really want to utilise the media platforms (social medias as well as advertising in SUSU buildings) we have at SUSU to showcase the intramural teams and develop our students awareness of these teams. We are all part of Team Southampton and we all deserve better recognition and a community.

This question was also asked to Samuel Tweedle, Luke JefferiesAnswered by Kiera on 28/02/20 18:00

How will you help support disabled people get involved with sport?

As someone who does have sensory and anxiety issues which can limit my participation in sports at times, I completely understand all the concerns put forward.  Our current VP Welfare and Community in collaboration with Neurodiversity and Disability Society ran a in person workshop following the WIDE training  that covered all things from physical disability and sports, to how to market your club or society to include people with neurodiversity. This allowed for an Open conversation about how to be an inclusive space for this with disabilities (including invisible), and challenge anything you feel needed addressing in that section of WIDE.  I wish to continue upon this but make it compulsory for all sporting committees. I want to work alongside the VP Welfare and Community as well the NDSoc and the Disability Officer to help clubs find ways to help create adaptive sessions or ways to adapt the sport to help encourage and support those with disabilities to get into sports.  Spotlighting some of our athletes with disabilities in order to show everyone that the sports are for everyone no matter the ability.

This question was also asked to Samuel Tweedle, Luke JefferiesAnswered by Kiera on 28/02/20 22:04

Do you think that susu was too harsh on shutting down socials last year? Will you let this happen again?

Socials are a fantastic way to get to know members of the club/society that you are apart of; whether that be through non drinking or drinking socials. There has been an increase of students coming to university or already studying here that do not drink and the Union and many sporting societies have got on board with this by running non alcoholic events or stating when organising events that people don’t have to drink if they do not have to which to me is a huge success. If clubs or societies are being secretive about socials or are encouraging ‘forfeits’ for not sticking to rules then this is clear hazing and peer pressure which there is a zero policy for and punishments/sanctions need to be put in place. Students ideas of fun and views on binge drinking have massively changed and as a Union we need to be able to adapt to this and support all those who have the same ideology. As a person who has been on a sporting committee for the past two years and very much been involved with socials for the past year, I am not aware of the circumstances that you are speaking of. If you would like to expand and give more details, I will be more than happy to hear from you again.

This question was also asked to Samuel Tweedle, Luke JefferiesAnswered by Kiera on 02/03/20 20:14

How will you deal with people that are keen to get into sports but do not have the financial means to do so?

Money can be a major barrier when it come to getting into sports. However the Union already has a range of sport clubs that do not cost too much to join and will not need you to pay for a sport and wellbeing membership. By developing the Team Southampton app, I would like to show off these clubs to show that sports shouldn’t cost the world. The previous VP Sports put into place the amazing scheme of free sporting activities on Thursday afternoons and this is something I would like to continue if elected. I would also want to work alongside clubs to introduce free or charity sessions where they can get more people involved in their sport who would normally not be able to afford this at a fraction of the cost. My predecessor was able to get the sports pass down to £50 which is amazing to encourage more people into non-competitive sports. I want to continue this in order to build a better community for all our athletes.

This question was also asked to Samuel Tweedle, Luke JefferiesAnswered by Kiera on 01/03/20 09:29

How will you help LGBT+ inclusivity in sports, especially when it comes to talking to LGBT+ people themselves and the society about how to continue inclusiveness? As well as talking to society sports captains to cover all sports clubs.

The previous VP Welfare and Community and VP Sports worked on in person WIDE training that focused on how to make clubs more LGBT+ inclusive and this is work I want to continue. This training was optional but I want to make it so they are compulsory for all sporting societies as it is important to give everyone the knowledge on how to make their clubs more inclusive. As stated in my manifesto, I want to expand and enhance this training. If elected, I want to be able to sit down with LGBT+ people and societies/clubs and work on how they can publicise their LGBT+-friendliness in order to create an environment that is welcoming to LGBT+ students. I want to be able to allow sports teams and societies to publicly demonstrate their inclusiveness, such as through the Government’s charter for action on tackling homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in sport. I want to work with all clubs to adopt a zero-tolerance to homophobia policy as all sports teams and societies here at the union whether they be intramural or AU need to be clear that homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic abuse is unacceptable through a clearly articulated zero-tolerance policy. This will help to ensure that LGBT+ students feel safe to participate in sport. I want to work towards providing guidance for trans students. By this, I mean working with the sports teams and societies to develop and make available a clear and easily accessible policy on whether, and under what conditions, trans students are eligible to participate and/or compete in sport. Providing more mixed-gender sporting options in order to mitigate the effects of gender stereotypes in sport and enable LGBT+ students to feel more comfortable participating. I would like to work with our LGBT+ Society in order to get their input to enhance and expand the WIDE training in order to create a welcoming, supportive environment where LGBT+ students feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity, and empowers them to eliminate homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia from sport. This also will involve looking into how coaches and other sports staff are trained especially how to lead LGBT+- positive environments. I would love to have your input on these ideas and if elected work with you on this.

This question was also only asked to KieraAnswered by Kiera on 04/03/20 11:43

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