Friday 27th October 2017

Getting Down To Business

Managing the business, our newest member of staff is coming into one of our most crucial roles at SSS, making sure we are running efficiently and hitting our targets. She will oversee our spending (eek!) while assisting in keeping the organisation’s policies and documents spick and span.

Catharine Horn, ‘Totty Horn’ if you prefer, has spent her first week at SSS HQ as our newly appointed Business Manager. Her background in sport ranges from teaching, competing in a variety of disciplines and volunteering in student clubs and on executive committees. She gained a masters in Sports Development from the University of Edinburgh and is our second team-player to come from Heriot-Watt University this year, as she studied her Undergrad there. They know how to build-em at the Watt!

Sports such as Athletics, Rowing and Skiing are but a few of Catharine’s favourite activities. She is a ‘fitness fanatic’ and is up for trying any type of sport thrown her way! When asked ‘where are you from?’, Catharine gave perhaps the best answer to such a question you could hope for:

“Very good question! I was born in Westminster and raised in London for 7 years before moving to Norfolk to live in the country for 4 years. Aged 11 my family and I moved to the French Alps and my parents are still there! So I would say I’m British and a little bit French; I’ll take the good parts from each place please!”

Although she is a new face to many of the current team Catharine is no stranger to SSS, or SUS as it once was, as she regales her time as an Intern with us in 2010. The organisation has certainly changed over seven years and we were keen to find out what she thought of the changes, *holds breath*.

“SSS, or SUS as it was known back then, has grown first and foremost in its size, from a team of 4 to the team of 9 that we are today, with new and clearly defined roles having been created. Each team member is on a clear path set out to enable the organisation to achieve its ambitious strategy, with numerous targets to reach along the way. For a small organisation it truly is impressive in its structure and processes and its strong vision that the whole team truly believe in.”

Phew! That’s a relief. Soon after arriving Catharine asked; “When will my new staff interview/news story be published?”, so Keith caught up with Catharine to get the lowdown.

What first interested you in working at SSS? What was it about the job that took your fancy?
A huge sports fanatic, I always kept an eye out for any openings at SSS and when this role came up I leapt at the opportunity. Being able to combine my love of sport with my professional background in business and accounting was something I couldn’t pass up. I had such a great time at university due to my involvement in sport and it is a pleasure to work with SSS and give others the same opportunity. I am looking forward to supporting the excellent SSS team administratively in a business and finance capacity and driving forward student sport.

You said you went to Heriot-Watt University and also did a Masters at Edinburgh, Tell us more about your time there. Did you partake in any sports while you were a student?
My time at university really was defined by sport. I was an active member of the Heriot Watt Athletics Club, training and competing with the club and serving as Secretary and President in my second and fourth years respectively. We started the now annual ‘Round the Grounds’ 5km trail race, a fantastic event around the beautiful university grounds that runs successfully to this day. I also did a bit of skiing at Heriot Watt, competing in the dry slope and alpine championships. I was on the Sports Union Exec Committee in my second and fourth years also, a role I loved, organising various events and assisting with club transport and booking, alongside having regular cups of tea and chats with the delightful Sports Union team and staff. During my Masters year, I joined the mighty Edinburgh University Boat Club, where I learnt to row on the famous Union Canal. After a somewhat shaky start and a couple of capsizes, undeterred by my height (I don’t think 1m 58 tall rowers are all too common!) I found my water legs and completely fell in love with the sport. The novice girls’ team was fantastic, as was the entire squad, and despite the many cold and early starts and comprehensive schedule of up to 12 training sessions a week, we forged lasting friendships and went on to final at BUCS, win the Edinburgh-Glasgow Boat Race and compete in the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta. I continued to row upon graduating and in fact took up coxing, more appropriate for someone my size, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

What excites you most about the role as Business Manager, apart from ruling the organisation?
I am looking forward to getting to grips with all things SSS and then tightening up on processes and getting everything in tip top shape – I do love to organise! I really enjoy accounting and finance, analysing figures to understand how best to move forward and achieve our strategy so I’m keen to get stuck into the numbers and the budgets and help make a difference to student sport.

Finally, how have you enjoyed your first couple of days with us so far?
I have loved my first few days here; I’ve been given a hero’s welcome and made to feel a real part of the SSS family from the word go. From fantastic playlists, to energising and interesting conversations and walking meetings with my new team mates, a delicious lunch on my first day and the ever present lively office chat, I honestly couldn’t have picked a better place to work!

We are over the moon with Catharine’s appointment to Business Manager, not only because she has an adorable Wirehaired Visla named Otto… We finally have an office dog! Her enthusiasm, passion and drive will bring something quite special to SSS and we urge you to watch this space.


Catharine Horn

Business Manager
+44 (0) 131 650 9653