If you thought that the only people who read the Badger are either those admiring their own handiwork, or those whose iPods have frustratingly lost charge on the bus even though they charged it just the other day, think again. Following on from last week’s article about the funding of Sports Clubs, I was bombarded by accusations of inaccuracy, anger and requests for talks with the higher echelons of the University’s Sport and Communications department. These departments were unhappy with the article and the information that had been leaked for future articles.
One member of staff said that the series of articles were at risk of “kicking a hornet’s nest”. Some of those who had spoken to me on the subject were also told off. Who’d have thought the Badger has such an impact?
While Sussex University hasn’t quite become oppressive, I had a series of conversations and meetings with officials and also had to meet with a member of the Communications department, in which I was patronisingly assured that Sussex not taking on any more Sports Clubs or funding any extra sessions for the first time ever due to lack of money was not actually news.
While managing personal relations is undoubtedly an important part of the world we live in these days, it is this sort of attitude and lack of transparency that will hamper the progress of sport. Last year, Sussex achieved it’s finest Sporting accomplishment as a University by finishing 41st in the British Universities Championships’ (BUCS) overall standings.
However, with capacity at its maximum across the Sussex Sport centres and pitches and every last penny squeezed from budgets, there is the possibility that the University has reached it’s peak. While we will never expect to compete with the top Sporting Universities across the board, we can certainly aspire to reach as high on the rankings as possible and achieve the maximum we are able to.
What is certain though is that Sport at this University won’t be able to dream of fulfilling its true potential without drastic changes being made to the university’s attitude. Not until all of the politics, intrigue and tensions that exist in and around it’s governing bodies are faced up to and dealt with. Not until everyone from the University, the Student’s Union, SussexSport, the Sports Clubs and the casual sports users unite and pull in the same direction.
It may take some compromises, frank conversations and a greater level of trust in one another, but when all is said and done, we all want the same thing.