It goes without saying that this year has had to see some huge changes. Having the fat skimmed off the sports budget tends to do little to boost our confidence, but I have been pleasantly surprised as to how such measures have affected our sports people.

Reaching into the top 30 in the BUCS league table last year is just a pinch of all the indicators that show UWE students’ sporting talent. Last year’s sporting achievements table glimmers with gold and silver, some of our teams being undefeated champions, consistently improving and setting the standard of university sport in the UK. The moral of this year’s teams reflects no exceptions, with opportunities arising left, right and centre, I can see everyone’s passion and excitement gradually surfacing as we enter our first round of competitions.

The new prices have certainly been a debate, those students going into second or third years having difficulty adjusting to the additional costs. As a student here for the last two years, I can even admit to now only being able to afford one or two clubs, rather than my previous attempts at joining four or five different sports. Though it seems like a sacrifice of activity, it is also a sharper insight of the true costs of running and organising high profile sports. This insight has made me far more determined to make the most of sports while at university, as the price of sports externally or even in other universities is significantly higher despite our price rise.

I can foresee no less than sheer excellence this year along with a steep rise in quality and performance; we are glowing in the limelight of the Olympics and there are so many opportunities to take advantage of. Spirits are pumped up at the Student Union and everyone is very excited for the year ahead! I hope that you can get as much out of this year as possible and I look forward to seeing everyone enjoy sports at UWE just as much as I enjoy working with them.

Ariana Alexander-Sefre