Men’s Football is one of the largest clubs on campus and one of the biggest sports in the world. With the World Cup just finishing and England doing so well, I spoke to Royal Holloway’s President of Men’s Football, Remy Henry, to see what he had to say about the sport that is so close to all of our hearts.
As someone who has played on the 1st team for two years, what aspired you to want to take it to the next level and run for President?
My passion for Football is one of the main reasons why I decided to run for President. This ties into wanting to run for Men’s Football to ensure that all of the members can benefit from being a part of the club, as well as ensuring that Men’s Football is a club that is welcoming to everyone.
You joined the 1st team as a fresher and will finish your 3rd year as the President, but being one of the only freshers to join the 1st team must have been a nerve-wracking experience. What advice would you give to a new fresher who is thinking of trying out?
I would encourage anyone thinking of trying out to not have any doubts about whether they are good enough to do so. The committee members will be welcoming on the day of trials to help eradicate any nervousness. One more piece of advice would be having the mindset of wanting to prove that you are more than good enough to play competitive football.
What is something that last year’s president did that you enjoyed and will you be doing the same for the club this year?
Last year’s president, Henry Hodge, incorporated for the first time, a club orientated charity fundraiser. This was for the Movember Foundation who’s work goes towards spreading awareness and research for prostate cancer. On a club level, we were able to raise over £1,000 in proceeds for the charity and I aim to incorporate the same effort, so we can achieve the same this upcoming year.
It is often said that ‘sport builds character’, do you agree with this in terms of football?
I fully agree that sport builds character. Football, amongst many things, is a way for me to channel any stress that I have and release it onto the pitch. It also helps me to build discipline that can be directed towards all aspects of life.
Other than the actual playing, what is one thing about your club that you love?
One thing that I appreciate about men’s football is how it isn’t just a place where you play the sport. I’ve noticed that it is a place where you can share any troubles you may be having during your time at university, no matter how personal.
What is one thing that you would want to change?
One thing that I am aiming to change is how we interact with other clubs on campus. Last year we made great steps to working more with Women’s football, but this year I aim to incorporate joint efforts with more clubs and societies on campus.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you on the pitch?
During a game, I was chasing after the ball to stop it from going out for a throw-in. As I tried to keep it in, I tripped over the ball right in front of a group of my friends who all laughed.
I know that you care a lot about the awareness of mental health and think that it is very important. What would you advise members of your club, or any fresher, to do if they find themselves struggling?
If anyone was to find themselves struggling mentally I would seriously urge them to talk to anyone in the club. I understand that it may be hard to open up about problems surrounding mental health, but I find that we can only help once we know of any problems affecting a person.
It is widely believed that males dominate the sporting industry and that female sports are often considered less important. As president of one of the biggest sporting clubs on campus, how will you support your fellow female athletes?
One thing as I mentioned above would be to work even closer with Women’s football both on and off the pitch. This includes providing referees, training advice, tactics and off the pitch, being involved in various club socials, fundraisers and volunteering activities.
As a final question, how does it feel to be able to say that you are the president of Male Football?
At times, it does feel quite overbearing to know that I am responsible for a club that is this large, but at the same time, it only makes me more excited to start working on different things that will make Men’s Football even better for both its members and non-members.