Matthew Smith

Candidate for Vice President Sports

  • Improve the communication and trust between SUSU and sports clubs
  • Find ways to increase the funding for sports teams across the AU
  • Increase support for committees affected by the repercussions of Covid-19
  • Increase the choice of free sport events to increase participation in sport
  • Lobby Sport and Wellbeing for continued improvements to sports facilities

Why vote for me?

Hi, I am Matt Smith a 3rd year Politics and International relations student, thanks for taking the time to read about why I’m running for VP Sports.

Sport has gifted me with countless opportunities and the best friends I could have asked for. That is exactly why I’m running to be your VP Sports. Every week seems to lead up to a BUCS Wednesday, which gives everyone the opportunity to meet friends and release some of the stresses that University throws at us. I want as many people as possible to feel the same passion and excitement I have about sport at University.

I have gained vast amounts of experience in participating and leading sports clubs at the University, having filled the roles of Club Captain and Tour Secretary at the Men’s cricket club and Men’s vice-captain at the Table Tennis club. These experiences have helped me have a great understanding of the sometimes-tricky logistics that can be required to run a sports club. Effective recruitment strategies led to an increase in participation of over 50% at the Cricket club. I would love to transfer these strategies that we have used to all the other sports teams at Southampton.

I know all too well the struggle club members, committees and presidents have been through this year. Underfunded clubs, increasingly large workloads on committees, and a lacklustre bunfight are just some of the issues that must be tackled. Therefore, I am passionate to change things for the better next year in an attempt to regain the incredible passion and love everyone has for sport here at Southampton.

Communication is vital when attempting to run clubs; through good communication, you can improve integration between SUSU and clubs, as well as dealing with issues quickly. During my time at university, I have sometimes felt the union and committees are working against one another. A well-functioning union should see these two working in tandem. One way I plan to facilitate this is by dropping into committee meetings of clubs every so often. This would give me the opportunity to receive instantaneous feedback which will help me become aware of what clubs’ issues are without them having to come to me - a more proactive approach.

I’m someone who is not afraid to ask those awkward questions at meetings and tell people above me how it is. I think this is vital for a good VP sports as they need to effectively represent the sports teams at Southampton. I would love nothing more than to use my passion and love for sport to make the already brilliant sports clubs here at Southampton even better (well and of course to lead Team Southampton to another huge varsity win over Portsmouth).

If the words in my statement resonate with you, and you share the same belief as me that I will make a positive impact on sport at Southampton University, then vote for me. Together, we can make a difference, and move in the right direction. #SmithyForSports

Questions & Answers Ask me a Question

What are your 3 core values?

My first core value is honesty. I think this is vital in any walk of life but especially when communicating with sports clubs and their hard-working committees. Everyone makes mistakes, I have made plenty, but it is about learning from them. Being honest with people allows for much better trust and a better working relationship. My second core value is respect, this is something that I have learnt especially through my time on the sports field and something that I feel would transition well into this role, as a good VP sports should allow clubs to share their opinions and listen to these, as this helps build a good rapport between the two leading to a better sporting performance. My final core value is Dependability, this is vital as sports clubs will want to see that someone is in their corner fighting for improvements to sport at Southampton and this is something that I believe I can effectively do.

This question was also only asked to MatthewAnswered by Matthew on 21/02/21 21:26

What is your philosophy around our clubs and societies? Do you see yourself as more of a leader, a facilitator or something else entirely?

Great question, I would see myself as more of a facilitator. I am someone who thinks that sports clubs should be allowed to run themselves without a high level of interference as this is where they perform best. I would like to see myself as someone who would offer support to clubs and lobby for better facilities to help them achieve their potential.

This question was also only asked to MatthewAnswered by Matthew on 21/02/21 21:27

What ideas do you have to help clubs and societies to recover from coronavirus?

Having seen the implications of coronavirus on clubs this year I have a good idea of what clubs issues will be next year and the coronavirus recovery plan for sports clubs which is currently being worked on will definitely help clubs. One big issue for clubs will be not having enough committee members and the fact that lots of members may have never played a BUCS game. So, if elected I look forward to helping clubs tackle these issues and provide them with the support and advice required. Lots of sports clubs rely on being able to do in-person activity and hopefully, clubs will be able to run more in-person activity next year which will help clubs recover from coronavirus by increasing participation.

This question was also only asked to MatthewAnswered by Matthew on 21/02/21 21:29


Matthew has not spent any of their budget yet