The president of the OU Sports Federation represents a hugely important role, but one which too few people seem to know very much about. Nominations for the next president will close on Tuesday, when candidates who have acquired 10 signatures of approval will begin their campaigns for the prestigious position. As incumbent Ruth Holmes explains, ‘the president is always a recent graduate; the process is similar to the OUSU presidency, except the electorate is comprised of people only from Oxford’s sporting community.’
The position is predominantly ambassadorial, providing an important link between the university’s governing body and its students: ‘My responsibilities are varied; I’m in control of some very serious issues, such as deciding how the annual block grant is divided among our registered sports clubs. There are also some interesting things that you might not expect; for example, I ensure that our sports kit deal with Canterbury is maintained, and I organise the distribution of cheap tickets to sports students for Wednesday night Park End.’
Holmes has thoroughly enjoyed her time in the post so far, a tenure that runs from June 2009 to June 2010. ‘I sit on lots of committees, and it’s great to be so involved with improving sport at Oxford and providing a voice for such a vibrant and talented athletic community.’ Other duties include overseeing the publication of the sports Annual Review, (a recap of the year that is distributed to over 20,000 alumni) and organising the Varsity Games, a series of 20 indoor sports that will take place at Iffley Road this year.
Holmes is a former physiology student from Catz; she plays Blues hockey, something which her sabbatical stint as president has allowed her to continue. She says that any eligible sportsperson should consider applying; the elections provide no platform for hacking, and are not popularity contests: ‘All nominees are invited to speak before a selection committee and an audience of around 200 students and coaches involved in Oxford University sport. This will take place on Thursday of 6th week, one week after nominations close.’
Based upon her own success and enjoyment, Ruth Holmes encourages anyone to apply for the position of Sports Fed President for 2010/11.