For those of you that haven’t heard of or had the pleasure of meeting Emily Window, you’re about the get the 411 on her in a special Inquire interview. Read more to hear about her role as VP Sports for Kent Union, events to watch out for this term and her passion for being involved in anything sporting related.
Q1. Hi Emily! Can you give a brief description of your role as VP Sports and what it will entail for you throughout the year?
Emily: My role, although it sounds quite niche, is actually very broad! As a full-time officer, I am also a trustee of Kent Union, which is a charity. This means that behind the scenes, I attend board meetings and am financially responsible for the Union and have oversight on how the Union works. My role is to represent all students, but in particular the aspects of student life in regards to sport. This includes things such as Varsity, Team Kent Ball, the Joint Sports Strategy between Kent Union and Kent Sport, as well as supporting our student groups!
Q2. What are the most enjoyable parts of your role?
What I enjoy the most about my role is that no two days are the same. Although I’ll be continuously working on the same projects such as This Kent Girl Can, Movember and Varsity, I am so fortunate to get to meet and work with new people almost every day. I also love working with the other Full Time Officers Aaron, Sasha, Stuart and Omolade, we’ve gotten to know each other really well and are gelling so well as a team and have got some exciting things planned for the year ahead! And of course, I love that my role is student-facing. I feel so lucky to have been elected to represent over 20,000 students, and I can’t wait to get stuck in and meet more students throughout the year.
Q3. What are the biggest challenges you are facing in your new role?
Things move so quickly at Kent Union – I started the role in July and I can’t believe how quickly September has come around! The Summer holiday is definitely the calm before the storm – so making sure that everything is ready and prepped for Welcome week has been the biggest challenge so far!
Q4. Can you give us the lowdown on any events those at the University of Kent should expect throughout the year, arranged by you as Sports VP?
One thing to definitely get involved in will be the This Kent Girl Can campaign, taking place from the 22nd-28th October. There will be free sessions throughout the week for women from everything from Sailing to Kickboxing! You can find out more about this on the Kent Union Activities Facebook Page. Don’t worry if you’ve never taken up the sport before – this week is all about empowering you to try something new in a welcoming environment, so bring some friends along and get stuck in with something you’ve never done before! During this week, sports journalist Lynsey Hooper will be delivering a workshop on Sports Journalism and Media on the 25th October – so keep an eye out for more information as this is a great opportunity to find out more about how you can get involved in Sports Journalism, or learn about Lynsey’s own experience of being a female journalist in an area which is dominated by men. Movember will also be returning to UKC this year, where last year our male sports team players sported some dubious moustaches for a month raising over £15,000 for the Movember foundation. I’m hoping we can smash last year’s fundraising total – so make sure you get involved!
One other thing we as an officer team will be implementing this year is ‘Challenge an Officer’ where our sports clubs, societies or any student can put their Full Time Officers to the test! You can challenge us to try out your sports and society where we will showcase it on our social media, and hopefully encourage more students to get involved with Kent Union Activities!
Q5. Have you got big plans for varsity?
Varsity is always such an exciting time in the academic year, as it’s a chance for Team Kent to take Christchurch teams head on in a battle of the sports! Each year it’s made bigger and better – last year we saw Kent Dance hold their ever first Dance tournament, and this year I’m working on implementing a disability sport – but you’ll have to stay tuned for more updates! We host two Varsity events in Canterbury – one in February where the majority of fixtures take place, and the Summer Varsity which takes place in May where Cricket and Athletics fixtures take place. On our Medway campus, our Kent students also take Greenwich University on in March so make sure you get behind Team Medway for these events! Something which I am particularly looking forward to is that this year will be the 20th anniversary of UKC’s launch of the Brussels Campus. As part of this celebration, there will be a Varsity event taking place in Brussels, with teams from Canterbury, Medway, Paris and Brussels taking part next year as part of the University’s celebration of 20 years in Europe.
Q6. Who’s your biggest sporting hero?
Definitely Simone Biles – she is able to perform some of the most difficult skills in her sport on multiple apparatus almost effortlessly and make it look so easy! I am also inspired by her decision to speak out about her experience of sexual assault in the media, and how despite this awful experience, she has persevered through her struggles and has strived for success.
Q7. What sports would you advise Freshers to join?
Something I would say to encourage freshers to join a sports team would definitely be to try out a sport that is completely new. It’s surprising how quick you can pick something up, even when you’re out of your comfort zone! Make sure to keep your eye out at Welcome Fair (20th & 21st September) for any clubs which catch your eye! Kent Union has over 55 sports clubs for you to join, so there’s plenty to choose from! I also definitely recommend going to as many taster sessions as you can. In the first two weeks of term, you won’t need to have a gym membership or a society membership to try out the sport – so do come along to anything that interests you and give it a go!
In our sports teams, there’s no real pressure to become elite athletes or to strive to meet unrealistic expectations. Taking part in sport at University is a fantastic opportunity to get active alongside your degree, and sports clubs are great places to make friends for life, so definitely get involved!
Follow Emily Window on Facebook or KU Officers on Instagram at @kuofficers to see more information/events from Emily and the rest of the Kent Union committee.