AU Edge: With AU President Stuart Leslie

ON THE eve on the inaugural Varsity competition, the Roses Competition may seem like a bizarre choice for the topic of this column, however the spectacle itself is only a few weeks away. As an AU President in a home Roses year, it is accepted that the preparations for this three-day extravaganza involves a yearlong effort. Indeed the latter part of this term, expect the profile of Roses to intensify week on week, as we eagerly anticipate the battle formally commencing for the weekend on Friday 6th May.

Before this date there will be a couple of pre-Roses events, for sports where logistically it may not be possible to hold the competition over the weekend. This includes the skiing races, which are currently planned to take place on Saturday 12th March. In addition, merchandise for the Roses tournament will be on sale towards the end of this term, with polo shirts and t-shirts available as mementos of the UK’s premier inter-University sports weekend.

Whilst the loss of the Men’s Rugby from the schedule is undoubtedly a blow to the timetable, I must reiterate that the decision of the Lancaster AU is one that I fully support. This is a massive loss for our Roses competition, and myself and the AU as a whole obviously understand the disappointment felt by our Men’s Rugby Club on the matter. Yet after meeting with Lancaster to discuss the issue, I realised that there was no hope of resurrecting the fixture, nor would it be appropriate for this to occur. Although we put forward a couple of alternative suggestions to attempt to get the game played, Lancaster’s AU are very determined to stand by their decision and all of us here in York must now accept this as a final outcome. It is the extreme behaviour of the Lancaster rugby team alone that has brought this decision about, and I would be disappointed to learn of criticisms being brought against Lancaster’s AU for their handling of the situation. Under the circumstances, Lancaster’s AU had little option but to enforce measures of the nature they imposed.

I will doubtless expand on the build-up to Roses over the coming weeks, but for the time being I would just like to wish all clubs competing in Varsity this Wednesday an enjoyable and successful day. It also seems appropriate to extend my congratulations to the clubs that have been achieved success at the end of their regular BUSA Wednesday afternoon seasons. Several clubs have progressed to the knockout stages, a fact that should give us renewed vigour in the run-up to Roses, now only 7 academic weeks away.

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