The Guild has a system called Change It, where students can submit an idea for the Guild to implement itself or across the University.

People’s ideas range from lobbying the University to divest from fossil fuels, to lowering laundry costs on campus.

We spoke to Tor Smith, who put forward a Change It idea for the Guild Insurance to cover regular sporting activities, such as Muggle Quidditch.

What are you trying to get the Guild to implement?

“I want the Guild Insurance to cover small sports that wouldn’t benefit from being part of AU, because Sport Liverpool have a standard £30 fee which for smaller sports would put people off joining.”

What is the Guild Insurance?

“The guild and the AU are very separate at Liverpool – AU does all the sport, so Guild Insurance doesn’t cover regular sporting activity. This means they can’t cover regular sporting events, just one off ones. For example if Dumbledore’s Army wanted a one off Quidditch match, it would be fine. However regular practices aren’t covered, so if anyone got hurt and sued the Guild, they wouldn’t be covered.”

Why do you think that smaller sports are really important to be supported by the Guild? 

“Sports like Quidditch tend to be more gender inclusive, and more appealing to marginalised groups and those who don’t normally get involved in regular sporting activity. This is especially the case with Quidditch, as we have specific rules in place to make sure it’s gender inclusive (on a national level it’s illegal not to have gender balanced teams). A lot of older more traditional sports have segregated teams, like rugby men’s and women’s teams, which aren’t trans inclusive. There are so many benefits from these smaller sports that those who are less sporty are more likely to access. It’s important that the Guild helps us so that we can help those students be active.”

What has the Guild’s response been so far to your request?

“It’s been quite good so far, Rosie O’Donnell has been fantastic and completely on our side. She has been nagging the Guild on our behalf, and now they’re looking into the costing and changing their insurance policy. They’re not sure they can cover all non-BUCS sport but we’re hoping there cover certain sports here and there on a case-by-case basis.”

Is there anything you’d do to take this further?

“The main reason I’ve been after this is because these sports are more inclusive, especially for trans students. I’d like the guild to be more focused on helping students access sports who might not be able with normal AU sports, especially more on trans students. In fact, I’m working with Rosie on Rainbow Laces campaign for next term, which is focused on helping LGBT+ students engage with sport.”