On an extremely wet Yorkshire Sunday in November, York’s eight colleges took to the courts for the annual one-day dodgeball tournament. In a damp and cold sports centre Tent, York’s dodgeball elites battled it out in a ferocious competition tinged with light-heartedness.
Amidst dubious refereeing loyalties and twisting of the rules, the eight teams divided into two groups of four and slogged out each five minute game. To cut to the chase, it was Alcuin College who emerged victorious, defeating a Halifax side to climb up the College Sport table.
However, it is not in the result of this tournament that our main interests lie. What this example of a one-day competition reveals is the dedication of each college to its sports and this was plain to see on Sunday!
Derwent certainly showed their loyalty and keenness with at least ten avid dodge-ballers sporting the blue jerseys, all willing to offer their support. Langwith and Wentworth showed they were there to more than make up the numbers with some solid displays in official college colours. We have certainly seen somewhat of a revolution out of Wentworth sport this term!
Both James and Goodricke were hard to distinguish amongst the crowd around the court, displaying the shallow capacity that colleges have to invest, or at least subsidise, sports kits! Alcuin and Halifax, the tournaments finalists, played out a match that was eventually won by Alcuin in straight sets, with players sporting ordinary civilian clothes that would look great on the street or in the library. Can’t something be done to even slightly suggest that the university regards its colleges and values the collegiate system?
Moving on from this, like any institution, the emphasis and vision is on improvement. This year has seen the efforts of the York Sport entity somewhat stifled by YUSU’s new Democracy and Services leader – as we are still waiting on the publishing of league tables as promised, against a backlog of promises that originally stated healthy eating and fresh food would be a top priority on campus back in the summer!
When thinking about the composition and the weighting of College Sport as a contributory factor to the college cup title, the uneven distribution of those precious York Sport points is stifling. It was revealed that the efforts of those five Alcuin students for two hours on a wet Sunday in the Sports Tent was worth the same number of points as the entire termly football league. Surely this doesn’t add up? The mishmash composition of a dodgeball team against the organization and effort of at least 15 players over seven weeks on the 22 acres?
This seems even more unfair when you compare this to the fact that College Rugby, which has a bright future thanks to the efforts of Alex Muntus this term, to namedrop, receives no points whatsoever! For that, 20 players from colleges such as Alcuin, James, Vanbrugh and Derwent turn out to twice-weekly training sessions with immense dedication, to subsequently slug it out and smash each other about across wherever pitches are available in York, only to find their efforts are rewarded with merely the raising of the eyebrows.
Sport is, and rightfully should be, an integral part of anyone’s life should they want to lead a healthy one! Whilst this article largely paints a negative picture on sport at this University, there are plenty of reasons to smile in many aspects. However, sport at this University will only be enjoyed to the maximum if it is done rightly and fairly. A balance needs to be attained!