As the only candidate for Sports Officer this term, Mariyam Nadha Ibrahim presented her manifesto and took all of the questions with a smile of confidence but also showed a lack of concrete and in-depth plans during the the Q&A session.
Mariyam began by stating that she would always choose sports over studies as her priorities. Her first point is to implement a transparent monthly review system whereby gym facilities or equipment are checked for faults. After that, she promised to assist in providing coaching to sports clubs as part of the Sports Development Program and provide first aid training to at least the club representatives if not all club members.
Next, she presented her proposal of constructing a shaded walkway to the sports complex. She then promised to bring back WomenAthlon with utmost assurance and certainty. She also plans to introduce and incorporate new sports namely Triathlon and Handball into Nations Cup. Lastly, Mariyam promised to install a UNMC Cash Card Top-Up machine in the sports complex in her manifesto.
Question and Answer Session
The session opened with a question unrelated to her manifesto. A member of the audience requested if the facilities online booking system can be improved upon, to which Mariyam answered that work will be done and thanked the requester.
A question was raised why the candidate wanted to put a Cash Card Top-Up machine in the sports complex when there are already 2 installed in the SA building. Mariyam responded that no student will want to walk the long distance to the SA building to top up their Cash Card every time. Besides that, a member of the audience asked whether monthly reviews of gym equipment will only inconvenience the students as it may cause the gym to be closed. Mariyam ensured that the main purpose is to prevent any accidents from happening by preventing the use of any faulty equipment. When pressed by an IGNITE member later about actually fixing the equipment she promised to press the Sports Manager on the issue.
When a question was asked regarding the feasibility and legality of first aid training, she maintained her stance that professional bodies will provide the training which will be legal and credible.
Concerns were raised regarding the lack of professionalism and waste of finances in getting elite university players rather than actual coaches to train club members. She responded by pointing out that an organized training scheme would be better than nothing at all. She also stated that employing a coach would be the members’ choice and they would have her full support.
When asked about her knowledge about the Sports Development Program, she said that after talking to the Sports Manager, she admittedly still didn’t have much knowledge about the program.
One member of the audience pointed out the disparity between nations within the Nations Cup and asked if there should be improvements to provide more inclusivity to students who just love sports. Mariyam replied that as Nations Cup is more competitive it provided a fairer distribution in terms of skill. Regarding the triathlon event, an IGNITE member asked where it will be held and what the logistics of organising it will be like. She answered that the event will take place on campus and that equipment and facilities such as bicycles will be provided by the university. She also mentioned that at least 10 people can join the event.
An SA Exec asked Mariyam about the various grants offered and to give herself a rating. Her responses seemed to show that she was rather under-informed regarding the finances involved in funding sports clubs but she still rates herself a perfect score of five out of five on her ability to be a Sports Officer.
After the hustings session, IGNITE was given some time to ask some extra questions regarding the shaded walkway. She said that when she talked to Omar (the current Sports Officer), Sports Manager and a few engineers, they said that it should be possible to build it. However, it is the finance office that still has the final say.
Overall, quite a number of her manifesto points appealed to the majority of the crowd. She was honest, confident and calm during the Q&A session however at times, her confident replies are unsubstantiated.
Written by Bervyn Tan
Photographed by Joann Chua Rou En