Meet the two third years who run Crisis

They also created the Robin Hood 7s event

Will Elbourne and Harvey Austin are both third year Politics students who have run Crisis for the past two years. They also set up a charity 7s rugby tournament that has now grown to be the biggest student run 7s tournament in the country. We caught up with them to hear the story of their time at Notts.

How did you get your job at Crisis?

We set up the Robin Hood 7s tournament when we were freshers which ended up getting a decent crowd down and it got noticed, so we were hired off the back of that. We weren’t ticket reps or anything like that, it was a bit out of the blue.

So tell us more about the 7s, what made you come up with the event?

We were basically just really bored when we were freshers. Being politics students we didn’t have loads of work to do and, along with another guy called Tom, we decided to have a crack. We had both enjoyed going to tournaments in the past which were more about the party atmosphere than the rugby, so we decided to try and set one up here. We didn’t really know how to do it and kind of ended up being passed from person to person in the SU, but eventually we got it moving. The uni were probably pretty sceptical about us doing it as we were just a few freshers who were clueless about how anything worked.

What actually is the event?

It is basically a day party. Yeah, there is rugby involved and that is a pretty important part of the day, especially when it gets to the finals, but we like to think that even if you don’t like rugby then you will still enjoy coming down. We have two really good bars, a range of food, and a selection Nottingham’s best student DJs playing all day. Oh, and also bubble football and hot tubs.

Why should people come down to it?

To be honest, this year people have no excuse. In the past it has been before exams but we changed the date so more people can come and enjoy it. The sun should be out, exams are done, it’s right on everyone’s doorstep at Highfields, and most importantly, the whole event raises a load of money for two charities. Last year we managed to get about 1,500 people down, so the atmosphere is pretty good as well.

So it’s a charity event? How did you get involved with those charities?

Yep. Both of them have personal meaning to us and also are related to men and sport, which sometimes gets a little under validated. CRY supports those who have been affected by heart problems as well as their families, and also provides tests for young people to see whether they are at risk. The charity has been in the news a lot recently because of the retirement of James Taylor, the Nottinghamshire cricketer, and also because of Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed whilst playing in the Premier League. And CALM campaigns and challenges a culture that insists that a man who seeks support is somehow less of a man. It aims to raise awareness of the issue so that everyone knows suicide is the single biggest cause of death of men under 45.

What will happen next year after you guys graduate?

We’ve got a team who have been helping us out hugely. And by that, we mean they’ve basically done everything this year. A couple of second years called George and Nirvana, and then a couple of freshers, Patton and McCormick. They’re far better at getting things done than we ever have been so the tournament is in good hands.

How did the tournament lead into Crisis?

Basically, Crisis ended up running the bar for us at the first 7s, and it seems as though they thought it was a cool event, so they found out who was behind it and then hired us! There were no interviews or anything like that. We were pretty lucky with the timing as well because the student who ran Crisis before us was just about to graduate.

What’s the craziest or most stressful thing that’s happened to you whilst running Crisis?

A lot of stuff we can’t really say as it’s fairly bad… but we can list you a few examples:

  • We’ve been offered £50 to let someone in
  • Harvey has been thrown out after a shift
  • The bloke falling off the balcony was very stressful
  • We’ve had mates being too drunk and not recognising us on the door
  • The bouncers regularly find people in the loos going at it

Best and worst parts of your job?

Best? Being able to sort out your mates is good, and free tickets to events is also a perk. Worst? Being called the ‘Crisis guys’.

How would you advise someone who wants your job for next year?

It’s very easy to do nothing at uni, but with so much free time there is kind of no excuse to not at least try and do something outside of your course and going out. Everyone has ideas, but some people go and get them sorted, which is basically the difference and what Crisis will probably be looking for in a new recruit.

What are you going to miss most about Nottingham?

The Robin Hood 7s, obviously.

For more information about the Robin Hood 7s go to