TO COMPLIMENT York’s established varsities with Durham and Lancaster, 4 February this year will see the premier of James vs John’s, York’s first University vs College varsity, competed between James College and York St John’s University.
The news of this rivalry coincides with the news that it is less than 100 days until the Roses, arguably one of the most competitive of the rivalries between York and any other university.
The one-day sports tournament will take place at YSJ’s brand new £4 million sports campus on Haxby Road. The 57-acre site includes a 3G-pitch, four badminton courts, a sprint track, and netball and tennis courts.
A variety of James College sports clubs will compete against their YSJ counterparts, including those of rugby union, hockey and badminton, as well as three netball teams and four football teams.
College teams are largely devoid of funding from YUSU and operate on a much more amateur level than university teams, so seeding them against YSJ’s teams was a potential obstacle in the organisation of the competition. College sports chairs and members of the YSJ Student Union met last week to draft a fixture list that would allow for competitive match-ups.
The range of sports being allowed to play at this varsity will allow for a broad spectrum of opportunities available for James to take home the title.
In terms of scoring, for each game played, two points will be awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. The event is expected to be followed by an after-party, during which the competition’s overall winner will be announced.
When asked about the varsity tournament between YSJ and James College, James College Chair, James Durcan had the following to say: “I couldn’t be more excited for the first James vs John’s battle”, further stating that as “James has always prided itself on its reputation as the sportiest college and this varsity will enable us to really promote college sport throughout our college and the University. “The contest will be a David vs Goliath clash, but our teams believe we will put up a great fight and can cause some big upsets. It’s going to be an incredible day, so make sure to join the hundreds of supporters there cheering on James”.
James’ rugby union captain Oscar Jefferson shared his view on the tournament: “there’s always a lot of speculation about how college teams would fare against university teams, so this will be a good chance to put those theories to the test”.
While the teams from YSJ will most likely enter the varsity as favorites, the James teams will be hoping to bring home a number of successful results. A Facebook event was created last week which has already garnered over 300 attendees, and revealing a logo for the new competition designed by a student from YSJ.
The James College sports committee hope that this new rivalry will continue next year and beyond, should this pilot prove successful.