News writer Rosie Dow sits down with newly elected Sports Officer, Lara Parker.

Written by Rosie Dow
Images by Korng Sok on Unsplash Lara Parker elected 2024/5 Sports Officer">Korng Sok on Unsplash

Next year’s Sports’ Officer Lara Parker stresses the importance of inclusivity and accessibility in university sport. The final year Human Biology student championed this attitude in her ‘Sport for All’ slogan during her campaign.

One of her policies is to introduce a Women’s Only Campus League. Parker is passionate about women’s sport and expanding the sports opportunities at UoB. For female students, she argued there should be more social sport opportunities.

As captain of the 5th University Netball Team, she explained how valuable sport has been in her life physically, socially and mentally. However, she highlighted that many students don’t feel comfortable and are nervous about starting a sport at University.

Parker wants to create a safe and inclusive space for female students to join a sport.

‘It is really scary going into something you haven’t done before,’ she admitted. 

She hopes that creating a Women’s Campus League will take off some of the pressure and seriousness which can be associated with sport at university. Parker wants to create a safe and inclusive space for these students to join a sport.

In addition, she is committed to supporting students with disabilities, collaborating with the Disabled Students officer to promote sport opportunities.  There are currently limited sports opportunities, facilities and funding for equipment designated for these students. She hopes to gain funding to ensure greater access to sport and boost inclusion within social and competitive sport at UoB.

‘Students can expect to be listened to, heard and represented within the Guild and UoB sport’

Many of Parker’s plans involved money and financial support – she admitted that funding for BUCS was already ‘stretched’. Questioned by Redbrick concerning the origins of proposed funding, Parker expressed she would significantly lobby the Guild and the allocations of funding from the Guild’s budget. 

Parker added that she wants to strengthen the achievements of the Sport Access Fund. The existing fund provides financial aid for student’s access to sport and Parker will continue supporting this foundation.

Parker acts as a contact for the student population in Birmingham, working on behalf of ‘Fishies’ currently. The Oxford-based events brand ‘Fishies’ hosts club nights across the country. Parker said she will use her connections to improve Sports Nights events at UoB, catering to students’ feedback.

‘Students can expect to be listened to, heard and represented within the Guild and UoB sport’, concluded the upcoming Sports officer.

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