Pietro Palladino talks to Sports Gazette
SMUC Athletic Union President Pietro Palladino talks to Sports Gazette about the role of AU president.
What was your first day as AU President like?
It was really nice, I’d already had a 3 week hand over period with Luke Allen (AU President 2012/13), so I knew the basics of what to do and where to go. I did some decorating, put my Italy flag and some photos up, and created a nice working environment for myself.
Why did you want to become AU President?
At the end of my first year, I helped Sam Grayson (AU President 2011/12) successfully campaign for the role. It was in those two weeks that I learned about the role and what it involved, and from then on, I knew I wanted to be AU President.
Throughout the next two years I tried to get involved with the SU as much as I could, to give me the best possible chance of succeeding with my campaign, and thankfully that worked.
What are your aims for the year?
My key aims for the year are to promote and grow every single sport and society that we have here. I am also looking to create new sports and societies and give them as much help as I possibly can so that they can remain sustainable for years to come. I also want to make more coaching qualifications available for our students to do, so that they are rewarded for the work and time they put into running their clubs. This will also give them qualifications which they can take into, and use, for the rest of their careers.
What events are coming up this year?
The one I personally see as the best trip is the ski trip in January to the French Alps. There is also Varsity against Brunel, the Societies Dinner, and a new addition this year, the summer Surf Trip. This last one is something I’m looking to run in June once exams are all over, it hasn’t been done before but it’s something I’m very keen on.
Looking ahead, how do you want your presidency to be remembered?
I want my presidency to be remembered by me doing everything I initially said I would, and what the students voted me in to do. I want to always be there for teams, and do everything possible, and more, to support them.
What needs to be improved about student sport at St. Mary’s?
Due to our size, it’s difficult to build new facilities to accommodate the growth in the sports and teams that happens year on year. As long as everything is done to make sure the teams can train and play with what we have, I can’t ask for much more. The coaching side is something I’m looking to build on this year, ideally I’d love every team to have the opportunity to be completely student led. This would allow them to have that experience and honour to manage or run their team. By giving students these opportunities to complete courses, this can help achieve this.
With a charity match between the Rugby Union and Rugby League teams on the horizon, how do you think this will go?
It could potentially be a great game, and by raising money for charity it is something that everyone can get involved with. As long as it is planned right, it could be a great spectacle.
Having added Futsal to the growing list of clubs at St. Mary’s how have the first few weeks gone?
The first few weeks of the season have gone really well, there have been a couple of little hiccups but that’s to be expected. We’ve had three weeks of fixtures now and generally speaking the teams have done well, so we just need to build on that.