University in win for tackling ‘lad culture’ in sport

The delighted team with their award
The delighted team with their award

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Portsmouth university’s student union is celebrating after scooping a prestigious award for student opportunities.

The team collected their prize at the National Union of Students (NUS) Awards held at the Birmingham NEC.

The staff, officers and students at the union have tackled the perception of ‘lad culture’ in sport.

The NUS recognises lad culture as a nationwide issue within universities. The term is derived from a perceived pack mentality that exists in activities such as sport, and can include sexist, misogynist and homophobic actions along with heavy alcohol consumption.

The University of Portsmouth Student Union team launched an 18-month campaign backed by hundreds of students which is said to have led to a significant change in the culture of sport at the university.

It focused on social inclusion without alcohol.

The campaign was headed by the chairman of the student-led committee in 2015, Ben Conway, to drive a cultural change by rewarding good practices.

Ben said: ‘I’m thrilled to be able to leave this legacy for University of Portsmouth students.’

The new vice-president of sport, Marcus Campopiano said: ‘It’s my intention to continue to drive a high performing and inclusive sporting environment at Portsmouth University so that whatever our students’ interests in sport, whether it’s to compete or to be healthy, there is a place for everyone.’

At the national ceremony, the NUS president Shakira Martin said: ‘We were impressed by Portsmouth’s approach to tackling lad culture in sport. The result is a sustainable change to how sports clubs become more inclusive.’

The union looks to continue its hard work into this area next year.