Statement from Dominik Nilsson

"Being an ambassador for Sport is something I have wanted to do for many years and I actually chose Bath because of its incredible sports offering. I chose Westwood accommodation as it backed onto Bath Golf Club and I’d go out 3/4 times a week to play in my first year. I got the chance to develop my skills as a leader through futsal after being turned away from playing BUCS football and 3 years later I was fortunate enough to be voted in as chair of the football and futsal club.

I believe this university can do much much more to support students and encourage them to take part in sports. However, I believe the burden to be too high on students to fulfil this responsibility, both those representing the Student’s Union as well as those in leadership positions across different sports.

This is a burden which I have felt in my years on the committee and especially in this final year being chair of one the biggest sports clubs on campus. I sought counselling for mental health problems in my second year and this helped tremendously. I have however seen these problems resurface and have at times felt unable to manage my thoughts and my environment.

Yes I have had suicidal thoughts and I don’t think there should be any shame in saying this. I feel I have an obligation to say that these thoughts are not acceptable and if you are encountering these thoughts, you should seek professional help in order to better manage and overcome them. This is what I will do in my last few months here at Bath and I will also focus on spending more time with those closest to me. It would be irresponsible both to my personal health and to the students who I would wish to serve if I was to spend another year working tirelessly to implement the changes I would want to see.

In my job last year, we had a ‘clock in/clock out’ system whereby you could track how many hours people were working. Although this isn’t as feasible an option at university, I believe we need to have a more comprehensive system which looks to protect and look after those who are working themselves into the ground. Is someone on a committee for numerous clubs/societies? Is someone spending all hours of the day in the library? A solution is waiting to be found but I worry that we will not find it until something serious occurs. I really hope this won't be the case and I trust that our university will take this matter much more seriously in the future.

At this point I would like to take this opportunity to announce my withdrawal from the running to be your next SU Sports Officer. I would like to thank you all for listening to me and I wish all the candidates the best of luck in their pursuit for SU Officer positions."

If, at any point, you feel that you need to discuss your mental health and wellbeing, there are places both on and off campus that are able to support you: 

SU Advice Centre, suadvice@bath.ac.uk, 01225 386 906

Wellbeing Services, wellbeingservice@bath.ac.uk, 01225 383838

Samaritans, 116 123