I asked the outgoing (that’s come around scarily fast!) exec for their thoughts and advice on being on the exec and hope this will answer some questions and maybe convince you to run for a role. It’s been a pleasure running the club this year with all of the exec and the enthusiasm and commitment of non-exec members too, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment this year. I asked the exec for their best advice, this is what we said:
So I think being in Bears and certainly being on exec is the single thing I’m proudest of that I’ve done. President is a hard and very time consuming role, but also so rewarding as I felt such responsibility and ownership of the club, I was really proud that when the club ran a successful event or I went to a tournament where people had heard of Bears, it was like they were talking about my baby.
You need to be organized and fair but also decisive to be President but more than anything you have to just love the club and want it to continue growing and improving, I would say if I averaged how much time being President took me it would be around 2 hours a day, so it’s a lot of work, but the exec are there to support you and you can come out of it saying you’ve essentially run a small business with 10 employees for the year as well as your degree.
I’ve loved this year, even if it’s been stressful at times, it’s a great way to get to know members of the club you may not naturally become friends with and I feel I’ve genuinely left my mark and made the club more successful, building on WIndoors procedures, running our first outdoor beginner tournament, securing more funding for the club as well as improving as a player. Talk to all of this years exec to learn about the roles and then run for exec, you won’t regret it.
I’ve really enjoyed being on exec and being part of a team, I was surprised by how much more involved and in the club it made me feel – it now really feels like a place I belong. I learnt a lot about my own abilities and developed new teamwork and communication skills. My favourite part has been becoming better friends with lots of members of the club and being more involved in club decisions. If you feel committed to serving the club and have a desire to get really involved then you should run for exec.
I was surprised at how casual being in the exec is. In the end, everyone in it is just an eager member who wants to help run the club. Most of us are in an exec role for their first time and have no clue what to do. So an advice is to seek help if you ever need it from either your fellow execs, ex-execs or the SU sports coordinators.
My favourite part of being vice-captain has got to be planning trainings and leading them. I also enjoyed playing as vice-captain in tournaments and trying to help lead the team. Being part of picking teams is not easy and I am grateful to the vast majority of the club that have supported and respected our decisions. Another tough thing is dividing training slots and squads. I think inter club tournaments and matches are great fun and experience, this is something I think we could do even more if as a club if we wanted. Being on exec has been fun and I’ve liked having a say in decisions made about the club and bringing my own ideas to the table. Pods were averagely successful, I think some pods worked better than others and maybe I could have used them more. I think the family concept is worth exploring and has potential to really help freshers feel welcome. I would recommend vice-captain to anyone that loves ultimate and teaching ultimate. I’ve improved a lot since I first became vice captain and I think this is in part due to being a captain. To conclude vice captaincy is a great way to give back to the club, really really enjoyable and a fantastic opportunity to be creative.
Work hard in term 3 and over the summer designing your publicity plan, making promo videos etc. Be friendly and welcoming to all new members and all people possibly interested in joining the club, and do everything in your power to get people to not only come to the taster sessions but also stay in the club after they’ve tried out the sport.
Be in charge of the club’s communication on social media, on the website, and even by email and sometimes with other sports clubs and departments within the university. Keep the website up to date, the YouTube channel current with videos from as many games as possible, and make sure other exec members communicate well with the rest of the club (and within the exec itself).
Always be willing to help out the rest of the exec with whatever they might need, particularly in term 2 where the big responsibility of getting freshers in isn’t really a thing anymore. That doesn’t mean you’re free to do nothing in term 2 though, getting freshers in is only part of the job description
Communities Officer is not the role that people only do if they didn’t get elected for anything else– it’s really important, and requires dedication to both the work in schools and community relations. This year the Coaching for Cubs school programme has been up and running and it will be the job of future communities officer’s to continue and grow the work that we’ve started this year. Also organising Bearnefcators is no small job and will only be a success with time and a persistent planning. The fact that the role really matters is what makes it fun, organising volunteers and getting into school is hugely rewarding and great for your Frisbee coaching skills. Also Bearnefactors takes time but it’s exciting to see things coming together and hopefully seeing the event be a huge success when it happens. Being on exec in a wider sense is also challenging but great – you can have more say, input your ideas, and be apart of a great team! You shouldn’t run for communities just because you want to be on exec but because you want to commit to the club, and are invested in our current and future school and communities projects. It a great way to challenge yourself, give back to club and feel really rewarded.
Captaining this club has both given me and taken from me a lot more than I thought it would. The confidence I’ve gained in leading, coaching and making decisions over just a term has really surprised me. I’ve also noticed a fairly large improvement in my own game just due to the way of thinking about ultimate that is required to plan effective sessions. I have had to invest a lot of time however to reap these rewards, each training session takes at least half an hour to plan on top of that there are constant problems to consider which seem to come from every aspect of the club. There’s a lot more to the role than what’s on the surface but if your willing to give your time to this club it really will give you a lot back
The women’s coordinator role in the exec is probably one of the least clearly defined ones and hence one that is the very flexible. I chose to use my role as a supporting one for Leia, to relieve her of administrative burdens and to be a soundboard for anything she might need a second opinion on. At the same time, I also tried to get more girls to come for trainings regularly, and build the sense of camaraderie within our small group. It’s really up to you how much work you want to do in this role, and how much you want to help the other exec members as well. Being in exec also opened my eyes to how much goes on behind the scenes to ensure the smooth running of the club, and we always need keen and committed members every year to step up and contribute to another awesome #yotb!
The main tasks of a women’s captain is to plan and run women’s training sessions for beginners and experienced players, pick teams for women’s tournaments, and cooperate with the club captains in doing the same for mixed training and tournaments.
What I didn’t realise when I first became women’s captain was how involved I would become with the mixed trainings. This year I have planned and run the mixed sessions alongside George and Jonah, and taken on a lot of the responsibility for the mixed trainings. This is something any future women’s captain needs to consider when taking on the role, about what level of involvement you want within the other sessions, as well as women’s. It is a lot of work on top of all of the women’s only stuff you have to do, and at times I have struggled to balance my work on top of my frisbee commitments. Being a captain means you need to set an example and attend as many trainings as possible. This means you can easily be training 12 hours a week.
One of my favourite things about the exec this year, is that I’ve been able to work with a really good women’s coordinator, whose always been willing to help me when I need it. Being able to work with the women’s coordinator is really crucial to success of your role. One thing I’ve learnt this year, is the advantage of delegating tasks, when you find there’s a lot to do.