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‘I prefer Roar to Pop Tarts’: An interview with Sarah Morse

She’s running to be your SU Sports Officer

With the campaigns in full throttle, the Students' Union has become more alive than ever. In the midst of running between lecture shout-outs and leafleting on the concourse, we spoke to Sarah Morse about her campaign to be Sports Officer 2018/19.

For those who don't know you, could you introduce yourself?

I'm Sarah Morse, I'm a third year Geography student here at Sheffield, currently Club Captain of the Tennis Club and also a keen hockey player. I'm running to be Sports Officer in the SU Elections coming up!

Why are you running for Students' Union Sports Officer?

I've been quite heavily involved in sports in my three years at Sheffield, especially at committee level and this year being club captain. So I've kind of been able to identify holes with Sport Sheffield or how Sport Sheffield could be improved.

The main thing when I was coming up with my policies was that there are still a lot of accessibility barriers in place for students at Sheffield for sport. For all students, at all levels. Whether it be a lack of information, a lack of money, a lack of time … the accessibility barriers exist not just for people who aren't really involved in sport, but also for athletes who compete every week, so I want to try and break those down.

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Lots of students are aware now that campaigns have started, how are you going to grab their attention from the other candidates?

I think the manifesto is the most important thing when you look at a candidate, but obviously having a catchy slogan and brand awareness is quite important – that's what I've tried to do with my Star Wars theme slogan 'May the Morse be with you'. I've also got my lightsaber when I go to lectures.

In terms of going to lectures you've got to try be memorable, but I want to get across that I am running this for a reason. I am taking it seriously because the policies are the most important thing.

If you had to choose one big change you'd make as Sports Officer what would it be?

That's a really hard question because it's a bit like a mother choosing her favourite child – that's a bit dramatic – but I think because all my policies try to encompass overcoming the accessibility barrier it's hard to pick one.

But one that I'm really passionate about is running the mental health awareness campaign in promoting the role of sport and exercise for mental health and well being. Even though that's not necessarily linked to sporting activities in Sheffield I think it's a really important issue so that's one that can make such an impact.

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There's been some pushing for more female candidates in the SU campaigns, especially for females to run for SU President. Do you think it makes a difference that you're running for Sports Officer as a female?

Yeah, the 'She Can' campaign, I think it's great – this year, actually, all the candidates are female for Sports Officer.

In terms of the other candidate roles I think that's incredibly important that females this year have been encouraged to run for President. I do think the She Can campaign has been successful by the fact that there are so many female candidates running for President and for other roles.

You mentioned your campaign slogan is 'May The Morse be With You', are you an avid Star Wars fan?

[Laughing] Okay I knew this was going to come up, so basically I've got to admit my biggest weakness is that I only watched Star Wars Episode Four for the first time about two or three weeks ago. Because I thought I cannot run off the back of a Star Wars branded campaign if I've not watched it.

I haven't watched all the films but my aim is by the end of the campaign, when it's all over and I've got my dissertation handed in, is to watch back-to-back all the films.

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So Varsity is coming up, if you could introduce a new piece of Varsity merchandise what would it be?

A poncho would be good for a Sports Park day, because last year it poured down with rain. Yeah, a rain poncho, like a bright yellow and black rain poncho… that would look really good actually. We should genuinely get them!

We'll start with a poncho and next year maybe even wellies.

What's your favourite thing about Sheffield?

It's got to be the fact that it's so close to the Peak District, I think it's really beautiful. The people themselves too, and everything's cheaper I guess!

ROAR or Pop Tarts?

I've got to say ROAR, I've got to. I love both, but I'm just an any union night out girl, I don't go out anywhere else.

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What's your favourite Varsity event?

I really enjoy the ice hockey, it's just such a good atmosphere, not even just in the stadium but on the way, on the tram for example. And the fact that historically it's always finished it off and we've won the past five years leaves everyone with such a good buzz.

But I'm really looking forward to the football event this year which will close it off at Hillsborough, I think that'll be really good.

Is there anything else you'd like to say?

I'd encourage anyone who's still going to be here next year, even if you're just thinking about running for a position, just do it. It'll be such a good experience.

Not going to lie, there's been tough moments, some really hard moments but actually now the campaign's started it's been so much fun. And I've just spoken to so many people who I wouldn't have spoken to otherwise – candidates and other students.

You're going to learn so much from it even if you don't get the role. That would be my one thing, and I haven't even finished the campaign yet.