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Arts vs Science: Interfaculty Sport edition

Josh Tassell encourages SciSoc and SASS Sports Executives to give 110%

USYD interfaculty sport. Photo: Emily Hartman
USYD interfaculty sport. Photo: Emily Hartman
USYD interfaculty sport. Photo: Emily Hartman

In stark juxtaposition to the good ol’ Aussie sporting culture, USYD’s own interfaculty sport, and indeed the wider on-campus sporting regimen, has been underpromoted in previous years. Interfaculty sport treads the fine line between being an SUSF promotion and a Clubs and Societies (C &S) initiative. This year sees a huge range of sports contested; from touch footy to tennis, ultimate frisbee, rock climbing, and a 5km run to wrap up the year.
Sports are managed under SUSF rules for gender quotas, as well as segregating sports where it’s deemed necessary. SUSF provide the organisation of events, including bookings, equipment, and officials to keep the competition running smoothly. C&S, meanwhile, provide a structure and participants, that vital glue of any competition.
Linking the two are the Sports Executives from any given faculty society. To find out the plans for this year, we contacted the newly-elected Sports Executives from both SASS (Julian Hollis) and SciSoc (Mike Crawford and Alanah Craig). As Sports Executives, their roles are predominantly geared towards encouraging participation in interfaculty sport.
Hollis is an upbeat dude. The right kind of person to encourage people to have a go, someone who ran for his position because, very simply, “fun is good.” He wants Arts students more involved and vying for the interfaculty title.
Furthermore, in a drastic improvement over the last year, he plans to take an active role as a Sports Director. +1. He’s also hinted at the possibility of Quidditch events. +2.
SciSoc has their stuff together too.  Crawford ran for the position under a genuine commitment that “sports could be a bigger part of the society.” Events are to be expanded beyond weekly interfaculty sport, with the organisation of an intervarsity sports day with the science societies of other universities, alongside casual SciSoc sporting events.
However, details, including dates for the expanded event list, are scarce. One of SciSoc’s ‘innovations’ was to promote their events through the SciSoc newsletter and Facebook, rather than word of mouth and the ever-present SUSF posters advertising the camaraderie of interfaculty sport.
What I question is that while these promotional techniques have been commonplace for drinking events, why not sport? Is getting pissed on a Tuesday night more worthy of advertisement than lunchtime activity? Don’t get me wrong, SciSoc’s publicity progression is certainly desirable over stagnation, but there’s something more that needs to be addressed here.
There’s a massive amount of evidence supporting the inclusion of regular exercise, mixed with learning, to aid in the connection of synapses and retention of information. Perhaps advertising these types of events that can promote learning, rather than just getting catatonic and forgetting everything you’ve just read about Heidegger, would be a great idea.
The Sports Executives combine the positives of gung-ho student positivity whilst trying to build up sport from a pretty lowly position within the university students’ psyche. The rhetoric is what anyone involved in a club executive has heard time and time again – grand plans for greater involvement and a wider scope. Nonetheless, it’s an encouraging step forward to see the Sports Executives committed to an expansion of their duties. Now it’s a question of whether these plans will materialise.

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