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YUSU Elections 2017: Peter Fisher (Sport President)

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

Peter Fisher is a Third Year Bioarchaeology student. In his campaign, he is arguing that he will ensure that all York Sport teams get a fair level of support, that he will engage with teams, and will push the link between sports and wellbeing.

What inspired you to run for this position?

I live for sport and have competed in what is arguably the strongest and best performing team at the University of York (Men’s 1st Volleyball), but I also played several other sports for university. However, I’ve seen volleyball receive better treatment by York Sport Union than other sports, and I’ve realised how me and my team are part of the select few [teams] that get more provision than other clubs. That to me isn’t right.  York Sport needs restructuring so that it is every team is helped by York Sport Union, rather than just some. So I stopped just competing and decided to become involved to try and make a difference for those clubs that don’t have as much of a voice as Volleyball and hockey and lacrosse, as those teams, even though they may be smaller, should still be treated better, we can do more so why aren’t we doing more?

What makes you different from other candidates?

I think that I am the most experienced and qualified person to do what I intend to do as York Sport President. I have been a Personal Trainer and a Strength and Conditioning coach for years, and I have worked with everyone from beginners all the way up to world class and Paralympic level athletes, and beyond this I specialise; my specialties are for athletes with both cognitive and somatic disabilities, as well as biomechanics and sport specification, all of these skills mean I can improve sport for literally everyone at university! Most importantly however, I explain HOW I will do all of this, I don’t just pull my policies out of the air, I have researched, questioned and planned specifically how all of my goals can be achieved, I have a solid method for each policy and can honestly say I am more aware about the current state of sport at the university and what is required to change it.

How would your policies change student life at York?

My policies work at every level of performance within the university and I have specific policies that are aimed at every single student in York.  I have the ability to make sport and fitness available to everyone, and beyond that, raise awareness of all the opportunities available to students at York. This can help all students get the most out of university, be it through social aspects of sports and fitness sessions, or the physical and mental changes that can occur from regimented physical activity. I also intend to stamp out and solve all of the small issues that every club has to deal with, issues that are far too often ignored.

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

I think the main challenge will be to do with time tabling. 90% of my manifesto can be implemented personally which is why it is so effective, however, it means I will have to work to strict times – good thing I’m extremely organised! This system of work also means I will have more control over the work I will do which actually makes things much simpler. Other than this, I want to have meetings with all club presidents and to actually properly plan out the best system moving forward and this will rely on a lot of cooperation between clubs. Luckily one of my main aims is to strengthen inter-club cohesion and this meeting is a great way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone!

What has been your most enjoyable experience at university?

My most enjoyable experience will have to have been competing with and captaining my Men’s 1st Volleyball team to achieve more than any other team has at York (as far as I could tell). After having a year where we won both; BUCS Cup and promotion, and on top of that winning our roses match 3-0 against a Lancaster team in a higher division. and to do this we had a 21 match straight winning streak, which is unheard off in pretty much all sports teams at all universities. To see all your hard work generate so much success is an amazing feeling, and I owe my teammates so much for that experience.

Why should students get involved with sport?

Sport is the holy grail when it comes to benefitting all aspects of someone’s life, you can improve physical fitness which has so many benefits! Mental health is improved due to increased levels of endorphins in your system, and socially it has the ability to open so many doors for participants and introduces people to a whole different world of team ethics and socialising. One often overlooked point though is: it gives structure to people. It allows them to work to a goal and put in place ways to reach it. This is an invaluable skill in life, and having this structure and desire to work leads to a change in mentality. This change is why people get up at 6am to train and love it, it is why they work hard because they don’t want to be 2nd best, and its why sport at York can be even better, especially given the foundation we currently have in place with the college system as well as York active and BUCS. Students should expect more, and I can provide more.

As told to Jamie Warner