So, here we are. 12 months of preparation and thousands of hours of training sees us only moments away from the 43rd Roses competition. If you have seen the posters, read the emails and still wonder what this monumental sporting event is, then you are about to find out.
Hundreds of competitors will compete in over 100 events over three days, all with one aim in mind, to reach the winning total of 126 points and make sure the Carter-James trophy remains in our trophy cabinets.
Competitors spend hours training in order to be at their best for Roses. In some cases, as with the rowing, this can mean months and months of training for under two minutes of competition. Roses really does mean an awful lot to a lot of people. There is no worse feeling for a competitor than losing a Roses fixture and no better than winning. Trust me – I’ve experienced both.
Lancaster are confident of victory; very confident. To quote their AU President, “we are in the process of giving ourselves the best possible chance to win and I really do believe that we will”. Lancaster’s whole year has been based around winning Roses but I am confident that the effort every York competitor has put in throughout the year, resulting in our best ever BUSA points score and the demolition of St. Johns in Varsity, will ensure the Carter-James trophy remains in our cabinets. York hasn’t lost on home soil for 26 years and I would be personally devastated if that record ended this year.
As for the highlights of the weekend, where to start? Over 100 fixtures will be played over the 3 days, each resulting in points that will go to decide the final winner. A few fixtures leap out as crowd favourites. The rugby and football 1sts are obvious choices, closely followed by the hockey, netball and lacrosse fixtures. Personally, I am looking forward to the rowing. This will take place at York City Rowing Club and will feature several international standard rowers in races that are sure to be very tight.
The high point scoring sports always make a massive difference to the final result. Rugby, rowing, football, hockey, netball, archery, volleyball and squash all carry large point totals but more often that not, it is the less high profile sports that make all the difference. In essence, every single fixture is important. With the winning university having to reach 126 to assure the victory, a first team result worth an eight point swing can make all the difference.
If you’re not competing, make an effort to get to the events or just wander over to the sports centre and pitches, if only to sample the free Walls ice cream and sit with a few beers watching the cricket, as it really is a special experience.
I hope to see you over the weekend, whether you are playing, supporting or just getting out of the library.