INTERVIEW: VP Sports Development Candidate

He’s knocking down walls for your vote

We spoke to Tom Proven, the uncontested nominee for VP Sports Development, to find out his views on sporting currently at Southampton, and his plans for the future.


Why did you apply for the role?

I’ve been on the Athletic Union Council (AUC) for two years now as Martial Arts Rep. I’ve taken a somewhat abandoned role on AUC and done everything I can to make sure that the MA clubs are represented. I really got into the whole role of being on AUC, but what made me decide to take the role a step further and go for VP Sports Development was actually frustration. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of the problems with the sports clubs and I felt like it was time for me to use my experience to help fix them. The previous VP’s have been wonderful achieving a lot, but I’m willing to work on what they have done and address issues that are felt day-to-day by clubs and recreational sportsmen and women.

Explain the role of VP Sports Development in your own words.

VP Sports Development is the servant of anyone who gets involved in sport and fitness in the university. VP Sports Development has an obligation to make sure that students have the opportunity to high performance sport, and recreational enjoyment in sport. Sport and fitness are massive parts of people’s lives and are essential to the wellbeing of a large number of students, so the university must be able to accommodate for those needs.

What’s your main objective for the year?

To make sure student athletes have access to physiotherapy and sports massage. Anyone who is injured has very little support from the university and deserves our help. Also, to reform communication between Sport and Wellbeing and the student population. The disconnect going on is at the heart of many problems sports teams and recreational users face, and by sorting it we could improve the sporting experience exponentially.

Should SUSU promote Team Southampton? Why?

Yes, I do believe Team Southampton should be supported by SUSU. Initially I was a sceptic of the whole brand, but my time on AUC has changed my outlook. The Team Soton branding is a way of unifying sports clubs together, however the best reason we have for the Team Southampton brand is for bringing money into the sports teams through sponsorship. Anyone sponsoring Team Southampton are far more likely to be interested in giving money towards sports clubs if they see us as a unified sporting entity. As VP I’d seek to improve incentives for smaller clubs, as I feel it is one area that is currently lacking. I would make sure that the brand is used with its full potential of gaining publicity and sponsorship for the university.

Who’s your sporting hero?

The one person who I do think of as a sporting hero is Bruce Lee – unconventional but he excelled at what he did. He trained consistently, he tied a philosophy into his sport, he achieved mastery over his body. Most of all he inspired at generation of martial artists across the globe.

What sports do you play?

I’m a martial artist. I’ve been training since I was a teenager and have been very obsessive about it. I’ve trained in jujitsu, wing chun, eskrima, but here I’ve been training with the HLK Kung Fu club, which has become a massive part of my life. Outside martial arts, I’m a keen runner. I ran a half marathon on my 17th birthday but have never got back to that stage regretfully.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you have a few hours to kill on campus?

It’s been far too long since I’ve had a ‘few hours to kill’! I’ve been blessed for the past few years living right next to campus, so if I ever have any time to kill I usually head home to do some training, go for a run or catch up on work.

Would you rather sweat mayo, or have to poop a football?

Hahaha! Soton Tab stay classy.