A member of the University of Sussex Netball Club dislocated their hip due to a leak in the Sports Centre roof at the University of Sussex. This caused the floor to become slippery during a home match.

The University of Sussex Netball Club played two matches on the 7th November for the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Netball South Eastern Conference Cup for the 2018/2019 season.

The University of Sussex Netball 1st team and 2nd team played against Brunel University Women’s 2nd team and University of Chichester Women’s 3rd team respectively.

Whilst in the Sussex Sports Centre, a member of the Sussex Netball Club slipped and fell on a puddle of water.

The water had accumulated on the floor of the Sports Centre due to the presence of a leak in the roof. The leak was present due to a build-up of leaves in the guttering of the roof.

Players on the bench at the Netball match were cleaning up the water as best they could but couldn’t remove all of the water due to gameplay.

As a result of this slip, the Sussex Netball Club player in question dislocated her hip and is subsequently unable to play in future matches in this season.

The Club’s 2nd team plays a Women’s Netball League game on December 12 against Portsmouth 2nd team, their last match before Christmas.

The University of Sussex Netball Club have commented on this incident to The Badger, stating that “We had two games in the hall that day and as the roof was leaking, girls on the bench were having to wipe up the leak as they saw it without interfering with play and making it obvious to the other teams.

“However, it wasn’t possible to wipe it all the time due to game play and this meant there was water on the court meaning one of our players slipped and consequently dislocate her hip.

“As a club we haven’t had any contact with the University about the incident, however, members of Sussex Sport have been in contact and have been very helpful by offering free treatment etc.

“However, the girl affected has had to miss 3 subsequent games due to injury. As this is her final season at Sussex it’s a shame that she isn’t able to play.”

The Badger understands that the player was significantly injured but she has decided to not take this case further with the University of Sussex.

A University of Sussex spokesperson told The Badger: “The Sport Centre facilities are maintained by Sussex Estates and Facilities (SEF) as part of a facilities management contract, which is overseen by the University’s Estates and Facilities Management division.

“On 7th November a member of the University slipped on a wet patch on the sports hall floor in the Sport Centre, resulting in an injury.

“We are deeply saddened by any incident that results in injury to a member of the University. We are not aware of any injuries as a result of similar incidents during 2018.

“The water on the floor was caused by a leak through the roof of the sports hall, because of leaves in the guttering of the Sport Centre roof.

“These leaves have now been removed and repairs to the relevant sections of the roof have been arranged.

“An annual check is carried out on all flat roofs on campus and any leaves are removed.

“When an incident occurs, the following process is followed: Incidents are logged onto an incident reporting system, reports are reviewed by the Quality, Safety, Health & Environment (QSHE) team in SEF, incidents are reviewed weekly by the Head of Health & Safety, incidents where there is a facilities concern are raised with SEF and with the Estates & Facilities Management division, and an Accident Review Group meets monthly to follow up on actions and to send a report to the University Executive Group”.

Becky Doran, Activities Officer for the University of Sussex Students’ Union, told The Badger “I wish the student a speedy recovery. This incident highlights the lack of investment from the University, the Students’ Union along with the head of Sussex Sport have been pushing for new facilities or at least a full replacement of the sports centre roofs for many years.

“There have been many surveys done on the building which highlight the issues and the immediate need for investment.

“These facilities need to be a priority in the future. New facilities need to be built to avoid this happening again.”

Becky Doran has worked to improve the sporting facilities across the University of Sussex in her role as Activities Officer for the Students’ Union.

The progress Becky has made was reported on in the Autumn Officer Reports where she held an open forum with “the sports reps… on sports at Sussex successfully [getting] members from clubs together to discuss what they wanted to change about sport at Sussex and how we can work together to make these changes happen”.

It was also reported in the Summer Officer Reports that “Becky has been working with the societies’ committee, approving lots of funding for different society welcome events & trips.

“Becky has also secured funding for ambulances to be at the sports complex for sports fixtures on Wednesdays”.

Funding issues for societies and clubs were also a point featured in President Frida Gustafsson’s manifesto: “Societies and clubs are the life and blood of the Union, and I want to make sure they have the funding and support they need by increasing Union funding for sports clubs and societies.”

Funding for societies, clubs, and sport at the University of Sussex was evidently a prime issue for those running for full-time elected officer roles for the 2018/2019 academic year.

Other sports teams have had issues with the standard of sporting facilities provided and maintained by the University.

The University of Sussex Women’s Rugby Team told The Badger that the poor sporting facilities had affected their training and their performance.

Carolina Grincho, President of the Women’s Rugby Team at the University of Sussex, informed The Badger that the team “struggles with the maintenance of the pitches as well as the changing rooms. The 3G pitch we train on is too small and not made for rugby.

“They are currently building a bigger pitch for us to train on, which was meant to be a functional 3G for rugby, but they’ve made it too small so there is a new pitch, but we still can’t play games on it”.

The University of Sussex Women’s Rugby Team has seen a significant rise in participants this year, making the small pitches even more unsuitable for their training and games.

The University of Sussex Netball Club has two teams that compete in the Southern BUCS league. They play matches every Wednesday, both home and away, and you can follow their progress on the BUCS website.

The sports teams at Sussex, led by Sussex Swallows, came out in support of a recent victim in a rape case that made global headlines in which an Irish court used the victim’s underwear as evidence against her.

The Cheer Squad decided to protest this action, and the defendant’s acquittal, by wearing their underwear over their clothes at the Pryzm Wednesday sports social. Any money raised went to Rape Crisis for England and Wales. 

This article originally appeared in our December 10 print edition on page 1 and page 3.

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