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No 6343

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Vol cxliv No 26

pp. 442–456


Report of the Council on the governance and management arrangements for sport within the University

The Council begs leave to report to the University as follows:

1. In November 2012 the Council established a committee to review and make recommendations in relation to the governance, management, and funding of sport in the University. The Review Committee published a consultative report in December 2013 for consideration by the Council and the Regent House, which was discussed on 21 January 2014 (Reporter, 2013–14; 6328, p. 139; 6335, p. 343). Following conclusion of the consultation period, the Committee modified its report in light of comments received and that revised report was submitted to the Council at its meeting on 17 March 2014 (attached as Annex A). The Council is very grateful to the members of the Review Committee and to all who contributed to the consultation process.

2. The Council shares the Review Committee’s view that sport makes a valuable contribution to life in the Collegiate University, by enhancing health and wellbeing, fostering a sense of community, creating opportunities to develop valuable skills, and enabling levels of sporting excellence to be achieved. The Council endorses the conclusions of the Review Committee’s report, which suggest a need for greater oversight of the development of sport within the University and which are summarized below:

(a)There should be a clearly articulated vision for sport and significant forward planning to ensure that future needs are anticipated and met, and there must be a governance structure in place to foster the development of a strategy and ensure that it is delivered and appropriately funded.

(b)There should be better co-ordination of sport, to make the most of opportunities to share facilities and services and thereby enhance the experience of sport across the Collegiate University.

(c)The provision of sports facilities should be primarily for students. However, such facilities should also be made available for the benefit of staff and the public, and to generate income, as far as it is possible to do so without compromising availability to students.

3. This Report seeks approval for the principal recommendations made by the Review Committee, namely:

(a)The Sports Syndicate should be reformed as a committee, to be known as the University Sports Committee, with responsibility for establishing a vision and strategy for sport. The new Committee should make the case to the University for funding that strategy, and also provide direction for fundraising priorities and oversee use of the University brand in sports sponsorship. There should also be an underpinning sub-committee structure to oversee, inter alia, the registration and management of clubs, and health and safety in sport.

(b)The Department of Physical Education should be retitled the University Sports Service, with responsibility for the delivery of University sports strategy as defined by the new Committee, and become part of the Unified Administrative Service (UAS), with the Director of the Sports Service reporting to a senior officer in the UAS, to be determined after further consultation, who in the first instance would be the Registrary.

(c)The Director of the University Sports Service should liaise with the Colleges, and with the managers of other University-related facilities and partner organizations, to identify and facilitate a mutually beneficial use of all sports facilities and services for all students and staff of the Collegiate University and the wider community. One such amenity might be the provision of a transport service.

4. Some of those who commented on the consultation report were of the opinion that the body with oversight of University sport should continue to be a Syndicate with a chair appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, reporting directly to the Regent House. Concerns were also raised about the Sports Service becoming part of the UAS.

The Council has given consideration to these views, but has agreed that it is of primary importance for the body to have a direct line of accountability to the Council and the General Board, rather than an indirect reporting line, to provide better oversight of the Sports Service, and for the Director of the Sports Service to report to a senior officer in the UAS, rather than the Chair of the Syndicate, to provide more effective line management of and support to the Director.

The Council considers that the relocation of the Sports Service to the UAS will better integrate the Service into the strategic and financial planning processes of the University. The strategy for sport should complement the University’s priorities for education and outreach, and the Council is of the opinion that this closer engagement can best be achieved by the appointment of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education as chair of the Sports Committee. The membership of the new Committee and its sub-committees will continue to draw on the expertise offered by those more directly involved in the management of sport at club and College level.

Some respondents also commented on the minimal reference to elite sports in the consultative report. The Council wishes to provide reassurance that the new Sports Service would continue to support all levels of participation in sport, but it will be for the new Committee to determine the focus and priorities of University sport.

5. The Council recommends:

I. That the Sports Syndicate be suppressed and replaced by a University Sports Committee, reporting jointly to the Council and the General Board, and that regulations for the University Sports Committee as set out in Annex B to this Report be approved.

II. That the Department of Physical Education be retitled the University Sports Service and be constituted as part of the Unified Administrative Service under the arrangements set out in paragraph 3 above.

17 March 2014

L. K. Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor

Fiona Karet

Rachael Padman

N. Bampos

Mark Lewisohn

Shirley Pearce

Jeremy Caddick

Rebecca Lingwood

John Shakeshaft

I. M. Le M. Du Quesnay

Mavis McDonald

Jean Thomas

David Good

Rosalyn Old

I. H. White

Andy Hopper

Susan Oosthuizen

A. D. Yates

Richard Jones

Flick Osborn


The revised report of the Review Committee is available online at and appended to the back of the pdf of this Reporter issue.

Sports Review Committee - Revised Report


University Sports Committee

1. There shall be a University Sports Committee, which shall be a joint committee of the Council and the General Board, and shall consist of:

(a)the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) as Chair;

(b)three persons appointed by the Council at least one of whom shall be a member of the Council, one shall be a member of University staff nominated by the Human Resources Committee, and one shall be a Senior Treasurer of a University sports club;

(c)two persons appointed by the General Board at least one of whom shall be a member of the General Board;

(d)a person appointed by the College Bursars’ Committee;

(e)a person appointed by the College Senior Tutors’ Committee;

(f)a student member nominated by the Education Committee and appointed by the General Board;

(g)a student member appointed by the Clubs Sub-committee;

(h)no more than three members co-opted by the Committee at least one of whom shall be a person with expertise in sports medicine and/or public health or wellbeing.

For the purpose of this regulation, a student member shall mean a person in statu pupillari, a Graduate Student, or an elected officer of the Cambridge University Students Union or the Graduate Union.

2. Members in classes (b), (c), (d), and (e) shall be appointed in the Michaelmas Term to serve for four years from 1 January next following their appointment. Co-opted members shall serve until 31 December of the year in which they are co-opted or of the following year as the Committee shall determine at the time of their co‑optation. Members in classes (f) and (g) shall be appointed in the Michaelmas Term to serve for the remainder of the current academical year.

3. The Director of the University Sports Service shall attend meetings of the Committee and shall act as its Secretary.

4. It shall be the duty of the Committee to:

(a)set a strategy for University sport;

(b)secure and allocate resources to deliver that strategy;

(c)oversee the delivery of that strategy by the University Sports Service;

(d)oversee the registration of sports clubs;

(e)manage risks relating to sport in the University, in consultation with other bodies as appropriate;

(f)make an Annual Report to the Council and the General Board and such other reports as the Council or General Board may require.

5. The Committee shall meet at least once each term.

6. The provisions of Special Ordinance A (vii) 5 concerning reserved business shall apply to the Committee.

7. The University Sports Committee shall have authority to establish such sub-committees reporting to the Committee as it sees fit, including a Clubs Sub-committee to approve the registration of and allocation of funds to sports clubs. There shall be a right of appeal to the Committee against a decision of the Clubs Sub-committee concerning the registration of a sports club.