AU President Jo Carter yesterday declared herself “confident of victory” ahead of today’s Varsity clash with local rivals York St John.
York have triumphed in the first three years of the tournament which is no in its fourth year, but Carter is taking nothing for granted.
The caution may be due to a fixtures clash that means that two of the games have already been played, whilst the Men’s Badminton 2nds will have to face the York St John 1st team.
The reason for this is that several teams from both York and St John, including the Women’s Basketball and Men’s Badminton 1sts, will be competing in BUSA knockout competitions this afternoon, with Carter attributing this fixtures pile-up to an early Easter forcing the knockout stages to start early.
This pile-up has already adversely affected the Women’s Basketball team, who suffered a surprise 24-37 defeat last week to hand St John the early advantage. Jo Carter blamed the defeat on the fact that the team only found out that they were playing that morning.
Carter’s own team, the Hockey 1sts, managed to scrape a 2-1 victory on Monday night to bring the early table back level, but it remains to be seen whether they will be affected by the short recovery time when they play again today.
Carter hopes that this year’s tournament will raise the profile of Varsity, which until now has been in the shadow of Roses, but has introduced new sports such as skiing and dodgeball to broaden the appeal of the tournament.
Carter admitted she was “pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of all the club captains this year”, with the rugby club even postponing their BUSA fixtures to take part in the competition. However, the event is still met with mostly apathy from students, even among those who play sports.
The awards ceremony has even been moved from the unpopular Toffs of last year to a more accessible 6pm at Goodricke Dining Hall, again in an attempt to broaden the appeal of the competition.
However, Carter herself admits that such attempts may just be a lost clause, claiming that York St John ‘will never have the pool of players that we do’, meaning that any attempts to raise the profile of the competition may ultimately be futile until St John can turn the competition into a competitive tournament.