Move Imperial and Imperial College Union (ICU) have launched Imperial Athletes, a new collaborative hub for the College’s almost 100 sports clubs.
Imperial Athletes is designed to serve as a centralised hub that provides administrative and developmental support for clubs, improved communications and a mandate to build a stronger community around sports.
In development since 2017, the hub aims to simplify and centralise a variety of processes that previously were managed separately by Move and the ICU, including sports funding, memberships, marketing support, and governance.
“It was long recognised that the administrative structure around sports clubs at the College needed simplifying” said William Hollyer, Head of Move Imperial.
“Imperial Athletes aims to bring everything under a single body, and is a representative of the benefits for the student experience when there is a strong relationship between ourselves and the ICU.”
“In reducing the administrative burden, we hope that clubs can now focus on what matters: playing sport.”
The launch of Imperial Athletes marks a crucial milestone in the Strategy for Sport and Physical Activity 2018-21, a joint framework for sport between Move and the ICU.
A new look
Imperial Athletes has also undergone an extensive branding process, designed to provide an ‘umbrella visual identity’ for competitive sports at the College.
“The branding isn’t meant to replace or diminish individual club identities, but it’s important that our clubs are easily identifiable when they’re competing against other institutions” said Ross Unwin, ICU Deputy President (Clubs and Societies).
The final brand is a culmination of an extensive consultation process with students and captains across the sports clubs.
“It was essential that the clubs themselves had a prominent role in developing this. We held multiple consultation meetings across the year and, ultimately, clubs were asked to vote on a number of visual identities for Imperial Athletes”
Imperial is ranked 16th nationally in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues, and hosts a wide variety of student-lead sports clubs.
However, Imperial Athletes launches at a time when club fixtures normally arranged within university sports leagues (such as BUCS and LUSL) are postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to this, Imperial Athletes will be hosting the Imperial Leagues throughout the Autumn term – the College’s first intramural sports competition. Imperial Leagues is designed to allow for a more social but adapted return to sporting activity.
Through the provision of a singular membership cost, students will be able to try a variety of sports across the Imperial Leagues.
The intramural competition is set to culminate in December with the Imperial Finals, a celebration of sport at the College.