The Election Debate Night saw Franki Riley, a candidate for York Sport President, accused YUSU of “not even meeting BUCS minimum standard on contact sports”.

However, Vision have found this to be untrue: according to Maddi Cannell, current Sport President, York Sport adhere to the requirement from both BUCS, and the Rugby Football Union that there must be one first aider per venue, and one per team, with the former being provided by staff at both the Sport Centre and Village.

Furthermore, in 2019/2020, 6 places were arranged for both the Men and Women’s Rugby Team to receive first aid training, which was not able to be completed due to COVID restrictions prohibiting full contact rugby thus far.

Riley also claimed that, “York sport staff are available, but trying to get ahold of them is often really really complicated, so I want to have a dedicated number so students can deal with this instance, but then have first aid back up as well”. 

This is already in place, however, as all teams are required by Rugby Union regulation RUU 4.4 to carry a phone with them. They are directed to contact the BUCS number both after their fixture to submit their score before the deadline, and in case of emergencies. 

Cannell told Vision: “YUSU ensures we always meet the standard of first aid required by BUCS for all sports alongside our venue providers, York Sport, be that venue and team first aiders or ambulance requirements. BUCS have both standard regulations for all sports, and sport specific standards”. 

“On top of this, some National Governing Bodies also have additional requirements, which are often introduced over a phased time period, where these are mandatory they are met; we will continue to work alongside student groups to further embed knowledge of processes into training and offer more qualification opportunities where there is a need”. 

“Student safety and wellbeing is and always will be a priority for YUSU. If any groups would like to discuss this further please contact [email protected]”.

In a comment to Vision, Riley stated: “I have been made aware of some concerns raised about an unscripted comment I made during the election debate relating to university first aid provision not meeting BUCS minimum standards… In the debate I was not able to provide the full story or context surrounding this comment and would like to apologise for this and set the record straight”.

“During November 2019, I began seeking clarification on BUCS standards for first aid provision in Rugby after experiencing first-hand the lack of understanding and support players felt they had”. 

“I met with various student rugby leaders, York Sport and YUSU staff to address first aid provision at the university; this meeting was very positive, but unfortunately there still remained considerable uncertainty over how to get in contact with a dedicated venue first aider and no designated phone number for first aid was made clear”.

“I never intended to provide any misinformation or cause any concern and have made a concerted effort at every stage of this election to ensure my campaign is truthful and reflective of students’ experiences”.

Georgia Briggs, President of Women’s Rugby at York, shares similar views: “We had to substitute a player from our own team out of the match to perform first aid for my broken nose. There was no other first aid trainer present, nor was the club or referee aware of any dedicated YUSU support line for first aid”. 

“This was 2 years ago, however. I have witnessed enough injuries in training and matches since to be aware that there is no clear instruction on who to contact or what to do – other than to act personally – when there is an immediate injury to tend to.”