Cormac Power – Alrighty George, do you want to just introduce yourself, tell us what you’re running for, who you’re running with um and what you study?

George Thubron – Yep, so my name is George Thubron I’m running with Launch as Sports Representative. I’m currently ding a double major of Sports Science and Exercise and Health.

CP – All about that sports. Just by way of disclosure, are you a member of any political party or faction

GT – No

CP – Sounds cool. Do you just wanna just walk us through what has sort of brought you to the position that you are now, that you are actually running for Sports Rep with Launch? What’s your journey been like through uni and through the Guild?

GT – So I started in 2016 just a uni student doing coming in doing my classes, going home, studying, exams, sport on the weekend all that kind of usual

CP – Classic

GT – Classic fresher stuff. And then about towards the end of first semester I was approached by a guy who was running with Star at the time, Jesse Martino

CP – Mmhm, I remember Jesse

GT – Yeah, he was in my house at school

CP – Cool, right

GT – So he approached me asked me to run, I said yes of course, happy to do it. So I ran with them as an OGC that year, didn’t get in unfortunately and then ended up being appointed as the education council treasurer under Lena. So did that, had a really good time, then stepped away from that. Um, that was a good experience, had a lot of fun and then now I’m, spent the last year as the Vice President of the PESA Committee down at Sports Science

CP – Do you wanna explain what PESA stands for?

GT – Yeah so PESA is the Phsyical Education Students Association, so we essentially are the representative body for all students studying Sports Science, Exercise Health, that kind of thing. We’re actually quite a small club, but we do what we can.

CP – As many clubs are, small clubs doing what they can

GT – Exactly, gotta start somewhere.

CP – Absolutely. So what was the ah, what kind of drove the decision to obviously having run with Star, to jump across and run with Launch?

GT – I was approached at the end of Semester One by Kate and Kate.

CP – Mmhmm, Kate and Kate, Kate squared.

GT – Kate, Kate and Sharon actually. And they came and spoke to me because of my obviously the experience I have on Guild and the PESA and so they were looking for very experienced people to run this year. So they came to me, we had a chat about it and they straight away, I just felt a lot more valued and included, um, like with Star I don’t know like, it was very good until the election was over.

CP – Sure

GT – And then it was kinda like, okay, you’ve got us votes and then it was just like you’re on your own a little bit. And I really had to push to get on that Education Council, um

CP – Interesting

GT – So yeah, with Launch, straight away they were open to listening to my ideas…we sat and had coffee and chatted about anything and everything relating to sport, the other parts of Launch and then yeah, I mean that’s

CP – Yeah absolutely. So I guess, on the back of that sort of experience that they identified, what makes you qualified for the position over other people who might be running for it?

GT – Um, for me, I’ve been playing sport my whole life, so has everyone, the thing that I think makes me different to other people in Perth especially, is that I’ve played sport in Perth, in Singapore, I used to live in Hong Kong and China, so I have that really vast range of experience of different people that play sport and what they want from the sport itself. And especially with Perth and UWA being such a multicultural university, I think that experience would really help me further develop and improve the sports department at UWA

CP – The culture of sport is so different in so many different places

GT – Yeah, absolutely, I know a few people at university who love to play inter-fac but like almost feel as though that what’s happening inter-fac isn’t like suited for them.

CP – Sure, do you want to kinda expand on that?  Because sort of one of your policies is about inter faculty sport. Do you want to explain what you think the state of interfaculty sport is and where it could go, where it could be improved?

GT – Yeah, so I’d love to introduce, a wider range of interfaculty sport. And that would just stem through, we had e-sports this year, which was a very unique, I loved the idea of it

CP – Super new, super exciting

GT – Just going there and being a part of that compared to other types of sport, we had netball today, netball last week, dodge ball, like the people that were at the e-sports were so different to the other people that are at the other sports every week. And I’d like to try and make that adjustment to try and get as many people involved as possible

CP – Yeah no absolutely e-sports a huge huge industry and growing so much everyday

GT –  You see AFL Clubs these days with e-sports teams and they make millions of dollars. The FIFA World Cup for e-sports, a guy won billions, it’s insane

CP – Yeah, no, 100%, if you could change one thing going into the portfolio, is that it? Kind of diversifying sports? Or is there something else that you’d be really keen on getting done?

GT – With sports?

CP – yeah, yeah.

GT – So I think the biggest thing for me would be to try to introduce a sort of subsidy scheme for um uni games. I mean I wanted to go to uni games a few years ago, couldn’t afford it, all that kind of thing. It would be great to be able to help as many people as possible to get across and represent UWA. Because I think being able to do something like that, if you want to do it, it’s such a great way to meet people, you have so much fun, it’s the kind of memories that never leave you. And I think if people can experience that, like I have with other sports, I just wanna help as many people do that as I can

CP – Yeah, absolutely. What’s the I guess kind of culture like at uni games? I’ve heard mixed experiences of people of their time at uni games, you’ve obviously got quite fond memories of it, do you think there is anything that UWA could be doing better in terms of how we send students to uni games, their experience there, there’s quite a bit of drinking involved and things like that, do you think that culture is okay or do you think there are steps that can be taken to improve that?

GT – I think ultimately it’s up to what you and the team want from uni games. I know some people go over very competitive, want to do their best, whereas others, it’s just a chance to hang out with mates, represent the university and have fun.

CP – Sure

GT – And I think if you were to say, okay, you’re going to uni games, you’re gonna do this, this and this, we’re gonna do our best the whole time, it would almost I mean obviously you’d still have a lot of people that would love that, but you’d also pull people away from the people who wanna have fun

CP – Makes it almost hyper competitive kinda vibes is that what you mean?

GT – Yeah if you were going over to make it almost just like the Olympics um

CP – Absolutely. Um and I guess the the last major policy that I saw that you guys had on the website at least was to move team sports away from um team sports and exam weeks being rescheduled, do you wanna sort of explain what that policy is and where it’s been a problem?

GT – Yeah, so I’ve just had a few friends talk to me with social sport and that kind of thing where it’s extended into the study break and things like that. And I know especially when you get to second and third year, you’re thinking about Honours, you’re thinking about post-grad, and sometimes like having that extra week of sport can detract, it’s not a long time, but sometimes that’s what matters, if you have an exam the next morning, that kind of thing

CP – And everyone has exams at the same time, right, the whole team

GT – Exactly, so you lose a whole team, which can, yeah

CP – Absolutely, cool um I guess sort of you know, the good thing about sport is that it’s not too crazily political except for the other portfolios, I’m going to ask you one political question, why not, where do you see the sort of difference between um Launch’s kind of policy and approach to sport and and Star’s kind of version of what they think sport should be? Or do you think your both sort of in the same direction?

GT – Um yeah that’s a good question. I haven’t honestly thought a huge deal about how Star are gonna improve it. I’m more focussed on my vision and implementing that to try and make sports on campus as good for students as it can be. I’m sure Star probably have a few fantastic ideas and if we can work together to improve that then I mean there’s nothing wrong with that

CP – All about the good policies yeah absolutely. I guess by way of sort of conclusion, with people sort of heading into the ballot box next week, they’re going to have people bombarding them with lots of coloured paper and yelling at them and all sorts of stuff, what do you think people should take away and remember about Launch and yourself as they go in and kind of decide who to vote for, what do you think is the key message they should have in their mind?

GT – So the best thing about Launch is the, I mean it’s just, I love it, but the thing that we want to do with Launch is, we’re going to try and introduce the Communications Officer which I’m sure you’ve heard about from a few other people. Star’s known about the twelve week semesters that’s a really big thing that’s happened at the moment that’s been cut back, so Kate and all of Launch want to introduce the Communications Officer to make sure things like that are communicated to students. I know me personally, I didn’t know about it until exam time semester one this year and then they were like alright, next semester is twelve weeks

CP – It just like happened

GT – out of nowhere really. Um so things like that. And then, the introduction of, for me at least, the big one of this, the introduction of the the attempt to get the 950 to run between Business and Sport, it’s a long way from the highway to sports science, it’s a good fifteen-minute walk, and even just saving a couple of minutes can take off so much stress

CP – So those policies, tangible, on the ground, get you to those places when you need to be there

GT – Yeah

CP – Awesome, cool, I think that’s everything from me, thanks, thanks very much for coming into chat.

GT – Thanks very much.