shamil

Ultimate MASS Heats Up

Ultimate MASS updates are LIVE! St Andrews still in the lead, with UWE making a fast climb, Leicester in a sturdy 3rd and a tough battle taking place in the middle of the table.

 

Term 1 mark up has been applied and the scores are in. Head to the Ultimate MASS page to see more about what points have been applied and how they were earnt.

The Scores

ultimate mass league standings

What Went Down

St Andrews hit the ground running in a HUGE way at the start of 2018/19 with big membership levels and high clothing order numbers. The Scottish society complimented this with solid social media, great member inductions and organised administration to solidify their place at the top of the league. A couple of other societies were on par with them for the freshers period points but St Andrews activity numbers such as members and merch were on another level such that it pulled them out in front by a mile.

 

dennis

 

After the term 1 mark up UWE have made a steep climb. They were late to the party with their clothing orders, missing the freshers period mark up, but got them in during term 1 and clocked up those points there, even more so than St Andrews’ overall total. UWE can attribute most of its points however to its big involvement in all MASS National events and it’s active society calendar – winning MASS wars, attaining high entries to SPC and student shredding and running almost every ‘recommended’ society event from the list.

 

Some could say UWE’s points from involvement in MASS National events is an unfair advantage over St Andrews (and other societies), with UWE being so close to national events and St Andrews being too far away to attend. But, this luck is not by chance, UWE president Shamil makes it very easy for MASS National to run it’s events there, always getting in touch with HQ giving ideas, confidence in numbers and suggested locations… In other words, he’s persistent. St Andrews will have to concentrate on what’s in their control and focus on their strengths of large activity numbers and near-perfect organisation to gain points elsewhere if they want to retain the title. UWE have fallen short on some easy points where their spirit has been there but their attention to detail is lacking – some easy points were missed for not running the MASS educational series, this is an example of where St Andrews thrive – they are on track with the delivery of the MASS educational series.

 

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UWE are set to have big numbers going into the SPC, which could earn them a lot of points. They stand a good chance of winning Ultimate MASS if they analyse the league table fully and tick-off all that they’ve missed. St Andrews, at a disadvantage due to their distance, but with their fierce leadership from Dennis, will no doubt tick off all points in their control. The question lies in whether or not the big heart at UWE can get focused enough to play the game, too, and max out points in areas they’ve missed.

 

Leicester, not to be written off, have been very active on their events, social media and administration with entries to all competitions across the board, a broad society events calendar, every social media point available claimed and they are the only society to submit financial forecasts. Their downfall has been clothing sales which are way off of St Andrews and UWE. Getting the brand out there on campus is key to promoting member buy-in to the mission and spreading the MASS message, strong clothing sales are evidence of a committed membership base. Leicester has less than a third of what the top 2 have achieved. Had Leicester hit the same sales as UWE and St Andrews then they would be in front by 10 points. Now, late into the year, Leicester will struggle to get these clothing numbers up, the start of the academic year is the prime time for clothing sales, they should have hit it harder in term 1. BUT, with a BIG push they could get it back, or perhaps they’ll find other areas to gain points? We will see. One thing for sure is that it’s a strong family there in the Midlands and if they want it bad enough, they’ll do it.

 

 

Table Movers

Going into term 2 there are some key table movers to keep an eye out for! At the bottom of the Points Available Table, you’ll find Handover Milestones, National Growth Milestones and Other Milestones.

 

One achievement that’s common in the top 3 is ‘other milestones’ for contribution to MASS national in the form of content or work contribution. Shamil at UWE pioneered the idea for MASS Student Shredding and Dennis at St Andrews wrote a compelling script for the I AM MASS series, these are just two examples. These students weren’t asked to put these ideas forward, they came forward themselves firstly with the idea and secondly with the tenacity to push it through to reality. That’s an easy 10 points.

 

The national growth of MASS is very important to the organisation. The more Universities we have societies at, the further we can spread the MASS vision, and the more benefits we can reap as an organisation as a whole… it’s economies of scale. And for that reason referring another successful society start up is a MASSive 20 points. Plus another 20 points for a second referral. Refer 2 society start ups and that’s 20 points… It’s game changing, but not easy, as starting a society is a hard task. Are you up for the challenge? Matt Woodley at Brighton is the first and only thus far, helping his society into the top 5.

 

The handover milestones. Everyone will complete a handover, it’s how you do it that is important. An organised and prompt handover sets up your society for future success. For that reason, there’s 50 points available in the handover.

 

Be smart with these, and you could bag an unexpected Ultimate MASS win, or at least make a big jump in the table.

 

 

The Middle of the Park

From places 4 to 9 we have societies with a lot of potential. The middle of the park is by no means a bad place to be, it shows that you are successfully running a University society.

 

These societies were all at freshers fair and they’ve all earned some solid points in a few areas be that a well ran freshers fair, a good competition showing, big member numbers or active social media. They’ve also lost the ball in some areas too, missing a large event, having a period of inactivity or simply getting minimal to 0 points for one or two things.

 

They key for these societies if they want to break the top 3 is consistency. Take the wins they’ve had and build upon them in other areas. It can seem like a lot to think about and to do, try to stay focused, keep the community going and keep up appearances and you’ll find that yourselves making waves in no time!

 

Also, take a step back. There might be some things are the root of your society to address that are stopping you from making that next step, are you missing a committee member to cover one area? This could be an area you’re missing points? Is there an SU facility you could secure that will make life much easier for you? Such as transport? Or do you simply need to up your aggression a little? And go harder with the sales pitch to potential members? Make more follow-ups to members who have said they would attend an event to lock them in?

 

Same goes for our societies at the lower end of the table, most of whom are new societies. Build a firm foundation covering all areas of MASS – then stay focused and execute daily.

 

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Words of wisdom

We caught up with UWE President Shamil to get his advice for MASS societies nationally.

 

How does it feel to have made such a big climb?

“Feels really good considering it will be last year as president. I founded the society and have been president for three years, it’s been a long run. To achieve such an accomplishment at the end of it all is an amazing feeling”

 

What advice would you give to other societies trying to excel?

“Engaging in social media is a key area, not just posting but commenting and messaging people. Regular email updates. Getting across to people through freshers, events and even just go up to people in the gym (especially the Uni Gym) and ask them if they’d like to join. I always make sure I rep the merchandise, this helps a lot when talking to people”.

 

What would you attribute your large competition numbers to?

“For the competitions, it’s about having someone already in the committee who’s done it before and activates that energy in other people, makes them want to go for it too and see how it is. Find a committee member suitable for each competition and task them with helping lead members. Get someone experienced in all areas of MASS. Having a variety of people who do different sports is massive as MASS is about more than just Bodybuilding or just Strength, the society is for all people whether they’re endurance, stamina or strength – sell all the different areas of the MASS competitions such as Wars for athletic fitness. Motivating others is key, plant a seed in your members to achieve big then support them to do so.”

 

You’ve contributed to MASS nationally on quite a large scale. Tell us how?

“I just follow my imagination. If I get an idea I’ll do it with my society or if it’s something that can’t be done locally I’ll run it by them to gauge interest then suggest it to David. Listen to your members too, if there’s a recurring theme then that’s a sign. Try to bring up new events, run the events on the MASS recommended list but also think about what you can do that’s outside the box. New events are going to excite the members, keeping them interested and your event could get picked up by MASS nationally and make a difference – remember that you are the heart and sole of MASS and your idea is as good as anyone else’s.”

 

You’ve been a president for 3 years. Your society hasn’t always been this way. What advice would you give to those starting out?

“Get a strong committee and make sure that committee is committed to bringing the society up. Students who you can work with. Be prepared to let committee members go if you have to. Freshers is key and your committee needs to know step by step what to say to potential members and be driven to get them in. Events weekly, such as MASS Wednesdays or whatever you choose to do weekly is hugely important – then members feel like they’re paying for something where they can engage regularly, and the regular contact builds the family.”

 

Most important piece of advice?

“Member numbers is key, stay committed to getting more members all year round and your society will grow.”

 

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Term 2 brings the most exciting opportunities yet. I look forward to all the big things to come for the MASS family.

 

David Bissell

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dennis goodztov

Top of the Table – Dennis Goodztov

From struggling to ratify to top of the table, MASS St Andrews president Dennis shares his reaction to finding out St Andrews is top of the Ultimate MASS league going into term 1 and gives his thoughts and advice on what he feels got them there.

Tell us a bit about yourself – name, age, Uni, course, interests outside of gym,

My name is Dennis, I’m 21 (22 in a few days), I’m at the University of St Andrews in my 4th year studying Astrophysics. Outside of the gym, I play some football, I used to play Ice Hockey. Astronomy is a hobby of mine as well as being what I study, I like to look up at the stars, back where I live in Switzerland I have a telescope.

Congrats on first place in Ultimate MASS in the Freshers period mark up. How does it feel?

It feels great. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this at all, I felt like as a new society it would be hard for us. But honestly it feels amazing, I feel like we’ve accomplished much more than we expected at this point. I couldn’t have done it without the rest of the committee, I’ve only had time to message my vice president at the time of this interview but as soon as I tell them all I know they’ll be as excited as I am. It’s definitely motivation to keep going and win it at the end.

dennis goodztov

What would you attribute your success in Ultimate MASS thus far to?

I think being very vocal with personal interactions with members as well as on social media platforms helps. Keeping everyone updated as much as possible, especially on social media, I think this is a big reason as to why we’re doing well. It’s as simple as approaching people in the gym and being open with them and just saying like “hey, we’re doing these events” and just reminding everyone at every possible opportunity what we’re planning to do. The more we communicate with our members the more motivation we have to create events and stuff that will leave an impression on our members. It’s about a lot more than just getting a goodie bag from Maximuscle, which we love haha, but on a bigger scale, it’s about following the vision of MASS and creating a community of people who inspire and support each other both in the gym and outside of the gym. I think just putting that message across as much as possible and making events fun and exciting for people is the key. A combination of all of these things.

 

You also won the award for most clothing items purchased, winning a professional photoshoot. What advice would you give to other committees trying to get their sales up?

I don’t think I’m in any position to give advice haha. But honestly as the start of the year, we were a new society, I bought myself a t-shirt, a vest and joggers. I wore them in the gym pretty much as much as I could to the point that was allowed by personal hygiene haha. People genuinely saw me in these clothes and said “oh waw that merch looks cool it’s really cool that you have your own St Andrews branded merch” and it was kind of an advertisement that I just had to wear the clothes to get. I don’t know how much that counts as advice as it’s quite straightforward, however I did get quite a significant number of people come up to me and ask “what’s MASS, I see you wearing this stuff” and eventually these guys and girls who come up to me asking what’s MASS eventually they ended up joining MASS and I’d tell them ‘hey get on board with this, get some merch, get a hoodie, get this, get that, feel really integrated in our society’. And we just got so many people putting in orders, I set deadlines for each order and I had quite a significant number of people get back to me about the 1st deadline and then I kind of said look if we can enough interest for a second order then I’ll do a second order this semester and we got a lot of interest in that too. I think I counted almost £1,000 in clothes. I think it’s about bringing across this community feel more than anything and say hey, get a hoodie, be a part of MASS, immerse yourself in this community.

 

Eventually, I’m aiming to have one half of the gym doing their own thing then have the other half just MASS haha.

 


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Your society is new to this year. What obstacles did you encounter setting up and how did you get through them?

This is a long story that starts last year but I’ll try and keep it short. Last year I put in all the paperwork that I needed to (to the SU) for the society, I put it all in very quickly and I don’t think there was anything wrong with my paperwork. However, I will say that the active society’s officer at the time in the Union didn’t really do the only job they had to do. I got emails from them saying “yes your society has been put on the agenda we’ll talk over it and you’ll either get leave to proceed or we’ll request revisions” but they just never got back to me. Something that should have taken about a week took months and then I eventually got the leave to proceed last year which is what you need to go onto the affiliation process. Then I went about trying to set up the bank account, the signatories for Committee, and that was an entirely different obstacle again… I emailed the societies officer who stopped responding to my emails altogether basically showing no faith in the society, so I went about doing the banking business myself and that was again overcomplicated by the accounts, asking me for documents I didn’t have and just had no way of getting. It was very confusing to me as I didn’t think it was necessary and as it’s something all societies have to do it shouldn’t be that hard.

And eventually, it dragged on to the point where I had to focus on my academic studies and put it aside as I wasn’t really getting assisted from the SU. I was being offered assistance from the students who are now a part of the committee, but for me to ask them to fix something when I don’t know what’s wrong with it just didn’t feel right. So I had to put it off just because of my academics.

But then this year I went about the whole thing again. There was a new societies officer who was infinitely more helpful, he sped everything up for me as he knew what I went through last year, so I went to the bank again where I encountered the same probably but this time I spoke up a little more about it and questioned them, I just told them “why do you need this, where would I obtain this” and eventually they owned up and said ‘hey this is our mistake we don’t need this’ which apparently no one could tell me last year.

So I got signatures at the bank, elected our committee at an AGM and we finally got ratification earlier this year.

Stay persistent with it because if it drags on too long you’ll face the same issues that I did. Once its set up it’s set up, it’s not necessarily going to be an easy process, but I’m just happy to be able to be affiliated now.

What’s your favourite thing about being a MASS President?

Probably being able to wear the hoodie with my name and ‘President’ on the back haha :).

dennis goodztov

 

What are your personal goals and gym goals now and in the future?

I’ve made a decision on my future quite a long time ago in that I’m going to pursue academics and academia, I want to work in academia and specifically astrophysics which is what I’m doing now.

In terms of my training, I’ve come a long way since I started. I started at Uni, and at first, it was a way to kill off stress I had from everyday life and it’s become more and more that as I’ve gone through my university career as work gets harder and you get more and more deadlines that are more important. As a side effect of that I’ve put on a lot of muscle, I kind of just ended up this size ha ha. I try to take it a bit more seriously now and I think it’s more than a hobby now.

I am looking forward to competing at the SPC and I’ve made it a goal of mine to do all of this without a trainer. I’ve been watching my calories very strictly, I’ve been maintaining a healthy diet since September now. I’m enjoying it becuase at the same time I can eat a lot of food, feel good about myself for being healthy, I feel healthier than I ever have in my life and my physique is getting to a place it’s never been before in a good way. I’m excited to see how I can do at the SPC using all my own knowledge that I’ve picked up un the last 3 years of training. After that who knows, I can see training being a big part of my life for years to come, I never see myself not going to the gym.

 

You can follow Dennis on Instagram @k1ngpenguin and @massstandrews

Read all about Ultimate MASS and see the latest standings on the Ultimate MASS page HERE

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