This year I have taken 6 Wednesday afternoons so far as Annual Leave to play Rugby for the University and I wanted to take an opportunity to explain this to those I am accountable to- you all, the students.
Whilst I was a student I was heavily involved with the Rugby Club, spending 1 year as First Team Captain & 1 year as Chairman of the club. During this time there was a dramatic turn-around from my first year (where we lost every game) to my second year (unbeaten with cup & league double wins) to my final year as a student (finished 3rd in BUCS Tier 2). During my election campaign I was asked the question by a number of students: do I intend to continue playing rugby for Surrey whilst I am a sabbatical officer? I was asked this, not only by individual students but also at the Sports Standing question time, by other sports club members. My answer was, and still is, yes, as long as it does not interfere with my work. Rugby is my absolute passion and so important to me; hopefully I will always play (until I am too old!). I also believe I still have value to add to the team, with my experience and ability to play in a specialist position as a hooker.
This year Team Surrey set the ambitious target of reaching BUCS Top 40, an increase of 8 places from last year. To achieve this we have held Captains Training, Strength & Conditioning workshops and run awareness campaigns to ensure students understand how BUCS works and why it is so important. I have completely supported this campaign because Team Surrey has the potential and the ability to achieve this aim but it does take hard work. At Captains Training BUCS captains were informed how important it was to train hard, field their strongest team and put 100% in to every game, cup or league, to ensure we reached Top 40. I want to lead Team Surrey by example, by showing fellow students how important it is to train and play hard. By representing Team Surrey, I feel I am doing this. I hear from a number of students that time is a factor in how often they train, I wanted to show that you can work 40 hours a week and still train and play. I take part in 4 compulsory training sessions a week, before and after work, plus aim to go to the gym twice in my spare time. I balance this with coaching the Women's Rugby team on a Monday evening, running touch rugby sessions and occasionally playing rugby on a Saturday.
I believe I have value to add to the Rugby 1st Team, due to the position I play, and therefore value to add to Team Surrey.