Varsity: Newcastle vs Northumbria contest to return on 27th April

The sporting competition between the two rival universities is set to return after a three year hiatus

Peter Bath
30th March 2022
Image: Peter Bath
Varsity, an annual sports competition between Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, will be hosted across the city on Wednesday 27th April this year.

The two neighbouring universities will battle it out in a number of different sports, from dodgeball to rugby. After a packed schedule, the day's finale is set to be the men's football in the evening.

The full schedule is yet to be announced, but Newcastle Uni's student media team will be across all the action in The Courier, NUTV and NSR.

Fergus Mainland, Newcastle's Athletic Union Officer, had tongue-in-cheek fighting talk for Northumbria in his weekly Courier column: "There are still memories to be made and a poly to batter on the 27th April."

Fergus' opposite number at Northumbria Student's Union, Emma Collier, seemed pleased at the competition's return: "I'm really excited to bring it back. It should be a good event for all the students. Its great to have such a large number of people involved. Absolutely buzzing for it as we say in the North East" 

The competition's previous iteration, the Stan Calvert Memorial Cup, lasted for 25 years from 1994 to 2019. Newcastle had the upper-hand overall, winning thirteen times. Northumbria came out on top ten years, with two ending in draws. However, the last five years of the cup were victories for Northumbria.

Newcastle had the upper-hand overall, but the last five years of the cup were victories for Northumbria

The Stan Calvert Cup was controversially cancelled in 2019 after Newcastle's withdrawal. Explanations included declining interest from student sports clubs and a reduction in Northumbria's BUCS participation. Then Athletic Union Officer, Maggie Elstob told the Courier that consultations with clubs suggested little interest in the competition at the time, and "I’m not going to make students do something that they don’t want to do. "

Elstob pointed out that the book wasn't necessarily closed on Varsity if demand returned, continuing "It’s completely up to next year’s AU Officer and the year after’s what direction they want to take it." While it ultimately proved to be the year after that, 2022 sees Varsity's hiatus come to an end.

At a publicity event last Friday, athletes from the two universities met with a good-natured sense of competition. Lauren Mole, President of Newcastle's Dodgeball Club, was confident when she spoke to the Courier: "There was a lot of demand and people are excited it's back on our end. Of course we're gonna win but its nice to humour them."

"Of course were gonna win, but it's nice to humour them."

Lauren Mole, Newcastle University Dodgeball Club President

Ben Schofield, a Northumbria athlete, shared his feelings on the competition's return: "I'm really looking forward to it - it got disbanded when I first came. Its something I always wanted to do, getting into the inter-uni rivalries. I'm looking forward to absolutely destroying Newcastle".  A little optimistic, perhaps...

(Visited 198 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ReLated Articles
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap