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YUSU Elections 2017: Laura Carruthers (Sport President)

Image: the University of York Students' Union
Image: the University of York Students' Union
Image: the University of York Students’ Union

Laura Carruthers is a Third Year History and Politics student running to become York SportPresident. In her campaign, she seeks to get more people involved in sport at York, to create unity amongst the different sports, and to push the links between sporting activity and mental wellbeing.

What inspired you to run for the position?

I’ve always admired the Sports President role at York. I decided to run this time last year, when Grace Clarke, the then president, suggested that I would make a great candidate. My role as Captain of the Women’s 1’s made me realise how much of a positive difference I can make to the achievements of York students. Helping everyone here make the most of all the sporting opportunities available to them is something I genuinely care about, hence why I decided to run.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

I have a fringe! That, and I’m the only candidate to be advocating the positive links between mental health and sport, as well as the idea that everyone should be included in sports at York, regardless of what level you choose to participate at. Getting involved is key, and we should strive to be one Sports Union, regardless of which club or team we belong to. I will also work far harder and care infinitely more for our students.

How would your policies change student life at York?

My policies would create a greater sense of unity amongst the sports. They would also encourage far more people to get involved with sports, whether that’s through participation in college, university or recreational level – or spectating!

What challenges do you expect to face in this position and how will you respond to them?

I expect there to be some resistance to my policies from York Sport, based on the premise that they are seeking to make a profit, as opposed to YUSU which is a charitable organisation. Working with these conflicting interests could be challenging but I will seek to overcome them y building a strong personal relationship with key members of York Sport, such as Keith Morris, to find outcomes that suit both parties.

What has been your most enjoyable experience at university?

Captaining my team to victory at the Women’s Lacrosse National Championships has to be the highlight of my university experience. To have recognition for all our hard work, and to win alongside my best friends, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I genuinely didn’t stop smiling for a week after!

Why should students get involved with sport?

Of all the many reasons to be involved in sports, two key ones really stand out. Firstly, sports helps keep us healthy – both mentally and physically. It helps us to deal with the pressures of university in ways that other activities cannot. Secondly, the social benefits of sports are infinite. Being a fresher at university can be very daunting but becoming part of a sports club can really ease that process and make you feel safer and more comfortable quicker.

As told to Jamie Warner