International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

VARSITY 2017 by Ioan-Alexandru Herdea

I would describe Varsity like a Champions League between universities. For freshers who may not know what this, Varsity is a competition that takes place in almost in every UK city where there are at least 2 rival universities. Each sports club competes against the other one, with the idea of winning supremacy in the city.
This year, so far, the University of Sheffield AKA “Uni” fought with Sheffield Hallam University AKA “Hallam” or for ardent fans of Uni, “Poli” (abbreviation for polytechnic, which Hallam used to be) years ago in 58 sports. Over a period of almost a month, everywhere in Sheffield you could see supporting messages from both teams, on t-shirts, placards or even buildings. There was even a huge advertisement on Arts Tower “VARSITY” in black and gold colors.
 
In my opinion, this event is another reason why Sheffield University is voted as the #1 Russell Group University for student experience by THE Times 2017. I felt really proud being a Uni student, especially when I was walking with my Varsity t-shirt and the words “This city is ours” on my back.
Now, in terms of the games, most of them were free to watch. The games included many traditional sports like boxing, lacrosse, rugby, american football and of course Ice Hockey. Every student went to support their favourite team and the most awaited game was the finale of the Ice Hockey first teams.
I would like to share my experience about the last game as I attended it with  my squash club. It was the last match and was held at Sheffield Arena. It was maybe the most advertised one and I have never seen such a rush to buy tickets, which sold out in a couple of weeks. Fortunately, my club managed to buy excellent seats in the first 3 rows. As the tram was free for spectators, the trams and stops were filled with  singing and chanting spectators, similar to what you hear at football matches.  The trams were filled with supporters from both sides, so half were in black and gold and the other half filled with purple and white. When everyone reached the Arena, fans had separate entrances, to avoid any disputes and clashes. The queue was very long and there were some women walking with Instaframe for pictures. The atmosphere inside the stadium was electric with 8000 spectators and a great bonus - everyone got a free pair of inflatable clapper balloons.


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The game was  really interesting and there was even a short fight between players. From my seat, the most fun bits were watching the players “squashing” each other on the side wall. The final result - Hallam won by 6-3, unbelievably they  marked in the last 20 seconds, but who cares… We still won Varsity overall!!!  The cup was handed to the new Sports Officer and after that, most of us headed to Varsity Roar, the most awaited party of the year.
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A day before this big event, there had been a similar atmosphere at the squash games, just with fewer people. Unfortunately, this year we lost but almost all of the games were tough and quite close in points. The last one, against rackets #1 of 1st team, was the longest. In the 5th game Hallam led by 10-8 and our player gave one final huge push to make it 10-10 and win with 12-10.
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Personally I cannot wait for the 2018 Varsity and see if we can defend our title over this city for the sixth consecutive year.

Well done Uni and keep goin’ !!!

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