Vice President Sports and Societies

ENSA Vice President for Sports and Societies

Eligibility. To be eligible to stand for election you must be a current student of Edinburgh Napier University registered to a programme of study. You can be about to complete your degree this session, or take a year out of the studies to cover the role.

Overall Purpose of the Post

Sports clubs and societies are extremely important to student life, offering extra curricular options for students to meet across campuses, engage in shared activities, and develop a sense of belonging and engagement as part of Team Napier. Sports clubs and societies are often where students meet their friends for life.

The VP for Sports and Societies is a challenging but rewarding position. It entails making resource priorities decisions between sports club priorities and between societies and balancing their competing needs and aspirations to achieve the best outcomes in terms of student participation and creating successful and sustainable organisations. It also involves generating extra resources to distribute and it involves allocating resource to elite athletes to achieve the best return on investment. The person in this position also has a key role in building an excellent reputation for Team Napier within ENSA’s clubs and societies themselves, but also more widely in the University, in Scotland and further afield.

The Vice President leads ENSA Sports and its clubs, both recreational and competitive, and supports club office holders, developing their competencies and the underpinning systems designed to improve sports performance, through the SportMark system. In relation to societies, the VP’s role is to work with ENSA Societies office holders to develop societies into active and sustainable forums for shared activities. 

The VP works collaboratively with a range of people including ENSA elected officers and staff, the Societies and Sports Execs and society and sports club office holders, members of University staff and externals.

Elected across campus, the post is accountable to all students, not just sports and society members, and the VP has a remit that extends to broader Executive and representative issues and playing a part in wider ENSA responsibilities. The role involves occasional weekend and evening work to attend meetings and training. Ongoing training and staff support provided.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, be responsible for ENSA as an organisation, its resources and its staff.


1. Spokesperson and Representative

To be the chief student representative, spokesperson and ambassador for ENSA on student sport and (non sporting) societies, working within ENSA and with the University and other partners and organisations, such as BUCS and SSS,  and sports’ governing bodies, to improve facilities provision and the general student experience in these areas.

2. Fund-Raising and Sponsorship

To attract funding and sponsorship to increase the overall level of resource for student sport and societies, as well as encourage, advise and support individual clubs and societies in their fund-raising activities.  

3. Widening Participation

To broaden student participation in sports clubs and societies, actively identifying and promoting these activities at freshers week and throughout the session, especially encouraging participation among demographic groups that may not usually get involved. 

4. Working with Club and Society Office Holders and the ENSA Staff Team

(a) to shape the student experience of competitive and recreational sport and society activities and to improve the scale and quality of student engagement with societies and clubs.

(b) to provide leadership, guidance and support on the running of clubs and societies by contributing to training and opportunities for office holder engagement, setting standards of achievement and assisting them to implement better club and society standards and organisation in line with the SportMark and Society Stripes schemes.

(c) to convene Sports and Societies Councils as well as consultative forums during the year to maintain effective relationships with society and sports club office holders.

(d) to convene and work with the Sports and Societies Execs to implement improvements and deliver events, for example, the annual Societies and Sports Awards Ball, Soctoberfest, the inter-university Varsity Sports Championship and Freshers’ events.

(e) to celebrate the achievements of teams, clubs, societies and office holders, principally through the annual Sports and Societies Awards and to communicate sports and societies news both to members and to the wider community; and to distribute support to Elite Athletes.

5. Working with Suppliers and Providers

To work with the ENSA staff team to obtain the best value deals for teams and societies (venues, coaches, kit suppliers), tendering out as appropriate. 

6. Trusteeship.

ENSA is a registered charity and all 3 sabbaticals are trustees on its Board. The Board is responsible for the charity; so it sets the overall strategic objectives of the organisation and has overall responsibility for allocating priorities and key resources – its funds and assets, its staff team and its reputation. It works as a Board to assess the opportunities and risks that the organisations faces, ensures that there is “due process” to make robust and tested decisions on the way forward, and it brings in independent expertise from outside ENSA to add to the Board’s skills and knowledge base to support this role. 

7. Shared Sabbatical Responsibilities: The ENSA Sabbatical Officers have shared, equal, and collective responsibility to:

  1. be the democratically elected student leadership of Edinburgh Napier University students.
  2. be full and equal members of the ENSA Student Executive Committee and Student Council, making policy and taking collectively agreed initiatives on behalf of the students.
  3. represent and campaign on behalf of Edinburgh Napier University students on campaigns prioritised collectively by the Student Executive Committee.
  4. support the shared goals of the Student Executive Committee and provide practical support and guidance to its part time members.
  5. promote and profile ENSA as determined by the ENSA Communications strategy including attending events and activities.
  6. attend designated committees and meetings as ENSA representatives.
  7. contribute to operational work via the Sabbaticals and Managers Operations Group.
  8. contribute to designated fund-raising activities. 
  9. work within ENSA and with the University and other partners and organisations, such as the QAA, HEA, sparqs, NUS Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and other government agencies to improve the student experience
  10. attend and participate in a range of training and personal development events and opportunities to improve skills and knowledge base.


This role would best suit someone who is a good organiser, with effective and analytical listening skills to balance competing demands, and leading to clear, fair and enforceable decisions. The post needs someone who is able to see the bigger picture but also develop good working relationships with a range of individuals: office holders across sports and societies, with the University and sports governing bodies.

It would suit someone with a problem-solving approach, an ability to get and enforce the best solution possible in the circumstances and to be able to manage the expectations of clubs and societies. While there is less formal committee work attached to this role, there is a constant need to communicate with and evaluate the effectiveness of ENSA Sports clubs and ENSA Societies office holders in meeting the needs of their members and “Team Napier”, and to build pride in the brand.

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