Words by Jasmine Davis, Print Sports Editor for The Spark.
2 Universities. 39 Games. Only 1 Winner. Can Reading Knights retain the title of Varsity Champions for the third year running?
If you’re a member of a competitive sports team at Reading University, chances are you’ve been looking ahead to this day for a while now. But if you’ve never heard of Varsity, buckle up for the most exciting sporting event of the year.
Taking place on Saturday 30th March, Varsity is a head-to-head battle between Oxford Brookes and Reading Universities, where teams from twenty-one different sports will compete in a day-long tournament against their equivalent rivals. Hosted this year at Brookes, the Reading Knights are hoping for continued success after winning the competition last year on home turf, with a score-line of 26-16.
For every game that is won throughout the competition, points are earned. The Varsity trophy is awarded to the Uni who has achieved the highest total points from all games.
The tension is already heating up, with the release of Brookes’ and Knights’ promo videos on social media. Brookes’ video suggests an “It’s Coming Home” style victory for the Oxford players, while Reading Knights’ parody video acts as a gentle reminder that… football didn’t come home, so neither will Varsity, as the Knights will win again! Teams from both sides have been training hard for months in preparation for this formidable occasion, but who will claim the cup and be Varsity victors 2019?
RUSU Activities Officer, Ali Perry, tells us more. “This will be the eighth year Reading Knights have taken on Oxford Brookes in our annual sporting event, Varsity. We have won the last two consecutive years and are fully preparing our teams to take the cup home again for a hat-trick! This has always been a massive day, celebrated by sports players and spectators alike. Reading students definitely feel a sense of belonging when they represent the University on Varsity day: it’s a sea of black and red as we fight for the winning title!”
Varsity matches between rival universities take place across the country, but they traditionally began between Oxford and Cambridge in the disciplines of rugby, rowing and cricket. On 30th March 2019, Varsity sports will include American football, lacrosse, hockey, football, tennis, rugby, badminton, basketball, netball, and much more, plus the brilliant Knights Cheerleaders supporting from the side-lines.
Fancy a bit of the action? Everyone is welcome to spectate and support the teams: come along to see some fantastic sport and support friends and team mates. It’s a wonderful occasion for celebrating the range of sports played at both universities, and a chance for our top sportspeople to showcase what they can do. Plus, there’ll be a heck of an afterparty to celebrate successes (or commiserate losses, but let’s not go there), with a Saturday Union Varsity Special in our very own RUSU Union club that night – don’t miss out on what is sure to be the biggest party in town.