It was billed as the ultimate endurance event and for the competitors from the York Sport and RAG teams the challenge was simple: playing 12 sports in 12 consecutive hours.
The event, organised by RAG Officers James Croydon and Jonathan Hare, served as a fantastic curtain raiser to RAG week, and comprised of a roster of diverse sports .
York Sport President Sam Asfahani was heavily involved throughout although he sat out the opening exchanges, on a 22 acres emptied of college football by heavy overnight rain, to avoid injury.
Event organisers estimated that between 60 and 70 participants threw themselves into the action, and the schedule kicked off with games of touch rugby and lacrosse.
The more committed members of the group showed up to the later indoor events with legs still proudly caked in mud.
The day also served to as a platform for some of the lesser known teams funded by York Sport. Ultimate Frisbee and Futsal were given equal status with the well-established traditional sports, perhaps cementing their reputation as two of York’s most rapidly developing clubs.
Despite Student Activities Officer Nick Scarlett claiming that RAG had ‘dominated every event’, in the early stages of proceedings, York Sport won the majority of matches as their sporting muscle proved too much for the RAG side.
The day marked a change in tactics from the organisers of RAG week. Previous years have placed a heavy focus on late license events but, as RAG Officer James Croydon described, participation was the watchword of the day: “It’s about getting RAG week off to positive start. It’s good to do something that everyone can get involved in. Also there is no risk to RAG, as it hasn’t cost anything.
“It’s about getting RAG week off to a positive start. It’s good to do something that everyone can get involved in.“
“York Sport have really helped us with everything and we’ve had people from the hockey, netball and rugby teams down for large portions of the day.”
In keeping with Croydon’s ethos the sports were played out in a great spirit although the fact that a number of York’s premier athletes turned out led to a healthy level of competition with Sabbatical Officers, including YUSU President, Tim Ngwena.
Competitors were set to trawl York’s bars for donations after the final sport had been completed at 9pm. Observers were quietly confident that the sportsmen would be rewarded for their efforts and the amount raised is expected to reach hundreds of pounds to be donated to the RAG beneficiares.
RAG week finishes on Saturday 12 February with the annual parade through York City Centre and the RAG Bash whch will take place in Derwent bar. Proceeds will go to the three core charities Survive and Candlelight, Macmillan Cancer support and Minds for Health.