Varsity still has a long way to go

In this column a year ago I wrote a piece extolling the virtues of White Rose Varsity, and imploring you all to get out and support our teams as Hull travelled up here for the 2012 tournament.

And although the consensus around last year’s competition was that things had improved, there was a feeling that the improvement was not as significant as had been hoped.

There were a few more people – including a lot from Hull, who took everything very seriously – and some much enjoyed events – MMA springs to mind immediately!

But, generally speaking, there is still the prevailing sense of Varsity apathy that so irked me a year ago.

In my days as a wide-eyed fresher, I was open to the idea that Varsity could quickly come closer to Roses in terms of spectacle and that more people would be willing to spend their day standing on a freezing cold 22 Acres in February.

I’m still optimistic that it can happen, but perhaps not in my time here.

The theory goes that Hull are improving as a sporting university and the scores will soon be much closer than in the past.

But with our own fortunes in the BUCS leagues much improved this year, anything less than a reasonably comfortable win on Sunday would be a tad disappointing for the York Sport elite.

Speaking to some of the organisers after last year’s event, they were keen to assure me that before long we would be covering an event where the final score is closer to 40-40 than 60-20; if that is the case this time I will be pleasantly surprised.

However, I do think that staging it in Hull this time around is a big positive.

It might prove a learning curve for them in terms of organising such a big sporting event, but the supposedly weaker side holding home advantage can only be good in terms of competition.

And if the Hull fans are as passionate as they were last time, then there should be a few decent atmospheres around the place.

That’s the hope anyway, but the truth is that the sooner Varsity becomes accepted as a viable sporting contest the better.

Ground is being made up, but there is still a way to go to convince the student population of York of its worthiness. Here’s hoping…

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