Stan Calvert: Time for Change

After a damaging defeat in the annual Stan Calvert competition, Sport Editor Tom Shrimplin and writer Rebecca Johnson discuss the issues with the event and how it could improve

Tom Shrimplin
12th March 2018
After another defeat, do changes need to be made to Stan Calvert? Image: NUSU

Tom Shrimplin

After losing by a considerable margin (80-22) and therefore making it a fifth consecutive loss against Northumbria, it is clear that something needs to change about Stan Calvert.

It was frustrating to see disappointing performances across several sports. For instance, the Mens Lacrosse firsts were heavily beaten by Northumbria, despite being ahead of them in the Northern 1A League. While in general, such large score lines should not happen as Newcastle are only once place below Northumbria in the BUCS competition.

The expectation of another defeat in the competition appears to play on the minds of Team Newcastle, who despite always giving it a good go, lack that extra edge which an ultra-competitive Northumbria seems to have.

[pullquote]The expectation of another defeat in the competition appears to play on the minds of Team Newcastle[/pullquote]

While I also got the feeling that for some clubs only one eye was on Stan Calvert, while the other was on BUCS. So, perhaps if it is decreasing in relevance, an argument could be made for ending the varsity competition.

However, I believe that would be a terrible decision and that Stan Calvert is still important for both universities, it just needs a bit of an overhaul. The grounds for change are already here. For instance, the Fun Run proved to be a great success, allowing causal runners and members of sports clubs from both Newcastle and Northumbria to take part.

Therefore, I believe that conducting more casual events and perhaps even introducing fixtures featuring intramural teams from Newcastle and Northumbria against each other would increase both interest and participation in Stan Calvert more broadly. Sport is about bringing people together so getting more students involved can only be a good thing.


Rebecca Johnson

Newcastle were left frustrated as local rivals Northumbria gained another win in the annual Stan Calvert varsity competition. Although the score itself is disappointing, another issue comes into play- how well publicised is the Stan Calvert competition? A further problem stemming from this question is how aware first year students in particular are about the competition.

As a first year student from the area, I myself was aware that the competition was a concept; plus writing for the Courier this year has enabled me to find out loads more about the competition. However, speaking to other first year students about Stan Calvert was rather interesting. My friends were vaguely aware of the Stan Calvert competition, correctly assuming that it was a sporting event but not really knowing much else about it. A lot of first years aren’t aware of Stan Calvert unless they themselves are in a sports club, or maybe know someone who is in a sports club.

[pullquote]The issue with Stan Calvert appears to be that it needs to be publicised more widely across campus[/pullquote]

This year’s competition saw the first Fun Run, which was open to everyone at Newcastle and Northumbria, a great idea and a step in the right direction to encourage more participation from both sides.

The issue with Stan Calvert appears to be that it needs to be publicised more widely across campus, so that people who are less exposed to university sport can learn more about the competition and how they can get involved with it.

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