York Sport President Sam Asfahani has announced big changes to this year’s Varsity and Roses competitions.
Varsity, normally fought out between York and York St. John, will now include other universities from Yorkshire and will become known as the White Rose Varsity.
Asfahani and his team have already received confirmation that the University of Hull is keen to pursue the possibility and they are now awaiting a response from a fourth university. If a fourth university cannot be confirmed it is more than likely that Hull will still be involved.
Varsity has traditionally been a fairly one-sided affair and York Sport are keen to increase the standing of the event. Asfahani said: “The idea with Varsity is to make it bigger than ever; to make it more competitive and to make it more of an experience for both our students and the students of York St. John. By inviting other universities we hope to achieve this and, in the future, create a spectacle of the size of Roses”.
Asfahani, whose time in the post of York Sport President has already seen the beginning of the construction of the new sports village at Hes East, has also finalized a move that will see the Roses men’s rugby match played at Huntington Stadium, home of the York City Knights.
The game will be played under lights on the Friday night before the weekend of Roses and will act as the centerpiece to the whole event. Asfahani hopes to make it a night to remember with fireworks, special guests and displays from some of York’s performance societies.
The stadium has an attendance of just under 3,500 and it is hoped that with the travelling Lancaster support included the ground will be sold out. Asfahani was jubilant about the progression he had made for the biggest event of the York Sport calendar: “This is the one time in the tournament’s illustrious history that a match will be hosted on such a stage. It’s York Sport’s goal to make Roses as exciting for spectators as it is for competitors”.