Martha “Tigger” Riggs and Steffan Lloyd go head to head in one of the most hotly contested Executive Election battles to be the next AU President.
In a time where Sport has become the fourth pillar of the University’s principles alongside enterprise, teaching and research and Loughborough is hosting the BUCS finals next year; this election seems more crucial than ever for the direction of Sport at the University over the next few years.
As Jennie Cooper, the current AU President, has said “both candidates have strong and varied manifestos”.
Firstly both agree that coaching is an area that needs to be improved within the Athletic Union. They made this clear in The Bubble Debate and it is also prevalent in their manifestos. The main way that both seek to do this is to increase awareness of the opportunities out there for young coaches, by improving links with the Loughborough Sport Coaching Academy and the AU and also by increasing advertising of openings.
The two candidates may agree on this first notion but have differing approaches to many other issues facing the Athletic Union. Steffan Lloyd’s first manifesto point is to win BUCS for the 35th consecutive year, providing we win it this year. A promise that he can do little to influence from his office and something that has almost started to be taken for granted at Loughborough. The fact that Riggs does not feel the need to even mention this, I think says it all.
Lloyd’s next point is improving sponsorship, something that clearly shows he has a grasp of the financial restraints and needs of the AU in the future. While Riggs targets recruitment of students instead. So whilst one targets better finances off the pitch, the other targets even better levels of achievement on the field of play.
This theme is continued into their other policies; whilst Riggs targets better inclusivity in all levels of sport, Lloyd targets better spectatorship at games. Both are very worthwhile causes to seek improvement in. However, I feel that the policy of improving spectatorship numbers is more easily achievable and will make a profound difference if achieved. Improved spectatorship is something that I think Loughborough has been crying out for, for a while. Seeing as we have such high class sport right on our doorstep, I have been constantly surprised in my time here by the distinct lack of spectators watching games every week.
Riggs’ manifesto does have some other nice features. One in particularly is the effective formatting, allowing us to see what she is going to do, why and how. While Lloyd’s seems a little vague on how some policies are going to be achieved, even if the premise of his idea is a good one.
Both Riggs and Lloyd are very strong candidates and nearly any other year, either of them would be walking away with an easy win. Instead they have found themselves in a tough campaign against a worthy opponent and therefore this battle is sure to go down to the wire.