Introducing - Keira, CSSHS School Rep

Well, here it goes, my first blog.

This has been a month full of firsts for me. The first time living off campus; my first week of the second year; my first experience of pre-season training; my first term of being umpiring secretary for the netball club; my first NSS meeting; my first load of freshers talks and the first time seeing my picture plastered all over the university. All of this has come from the almighty first month of my new role as Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences rep and what a whirlwind it has been!

The start of this month was crazy for me, even before the freshers arrived and I entered my super ‘recruitment mode’. Attempting to balance moving into my new house, netball preseason training, training for my half marathon and attending the all-important rep training week – at least I’m one of those people who thrive off being busy! I must admit going into a relatively new environment with people I have never spoken to was quite daunting for me, wondering whether we would get along, or clash due to having completely different ideas and personalities. This wasn’t the case at all, the only way I can describe our SU reps and officers for this year is a huge extended family, everyone is so supportive and encouraging with one common goal of making the Student Union the best it has ever been.

Throughout the training week, I was introduced to so many new faces in the SU and the university, people who all students may not know but their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. From those in the SU office itself to the careers service and other staff in my school who I didn’t even know myself. Even in my first week of my role, it really opened my eyes to the endless opportunities given to students and how hard staff work to ensure this.

When anyone hears the term ‘training week’, they instantly picture countless powerpoint presentations and a mammoth load of information being thrown at them, but at much as my training week was informative and equipped me for the year ahead, it was far from a regular training week. We were put in so many different situations and environments to replicate anything we may have to face as a School rep. It was almost as if we were the SU army who had just been handed our artillery for what we were going to face.

My first battle was the introductory talks for freshers. With the two schools merging this year, it’s a major aim of mine for both campuses to know my face and who I am. I spent the first day in Llandaff speaking in the Health Sciences introductions. Being able to switch between both campuses I feel is a skill I will have to learn, I think I am going to have to have a few lessons on where to go! The next day consisted of four talks for the Sports students, where my face was yet again put on big screen, people are going to be sick of seeing my face soon! It was really rewarding to have students approach me at the end to ask about being a course rep, especially first years – I admire you for wanting to do something extra and stand out from the crowd.

Although we had just gone through training, nothing could have prepared me for the craziness that was ‘Freshers Fayre’! I think I enjoyed it more this year than I did when I was a fresher. I spoke to so many different clubs, organisations and societies that I didn’t even know existed, I think anyone would find it difficult not to sign up to something new! Replacing the huge stage from last year with a smaller stage and an activities area worked so well! There was so much going on, from basketball shootouts, martial arts demonstrations and even pizza eating competitions! My day consisted of wandering around the whole day, making myself known to everyone and talking to as many people as possible. I absolutely loved being on stage alongside the other reps and introducing myself as well as a number of the societies and sports teams we have on offer. Everyone engaged so well with all the freshers that came to visit, and obviously, a lot of freebies were given out, most of them being food!

For now, I am in ultra recruitment mode, building my fabulous team around me ready for the year ahead. Being a sports player myself, I have a competitive streak within me, and reliable teammates will help me achieve my goal. For anyone who sees me around either campus, whether you’re CSSHS or any other school – feel free to chat to me and ask me any questions you may have, I like to think I am an approachable individual who smiles most of the time, please share your ideas with me!! We are here for you!