Sheppard pushes for more sports support ahead of Roses 2019

Image: Zac Sheppard

YUSU Sport President Zac Sheppard is launching the Roses Focus Sport programme in an effort to win the 2019 Roses title, after Lancaster’s Student Union revealed they had received £88,000 from their University to prepare their own teams for Roses in 2018, a greater amount than YUSU has ever received from the University. Clubs included in this programme will receive extra coaching and pre-Roses sessions, which will include sports psychology workshops.

Sheppard said that clubs were concerned that YUSU was not providing enough support in the run up to Roses this year and that he wanted “to change that”. He discussed three new programmes that are being introduced that will help tackle issues to do with fitness support as well as providing professional talks and expertise for clubs at the University. Clubs selected for the programme will recieve additional coaching during second term and pre-Roses training camps, including sports psychology workshops.

Sheppeard said that YUSU had “listened to concerns from our clubs that YUSU didn’t provide enough support in the run up to Roses this year”. There will also be a three-year development programme for ‘Performance Pathway Clubs’ that will “help us take home the trophy next year”. Sheppard is pushing for more support from the university, saying “the sport programme is massively underfunded. To keep up the competition we need to do more to support our teams and for that we need the funding to provide these services”. This comes amid strength and conditioning packages, which are available to every athlete at York.

Roses has been running since 1965 and is often hailed as the largest inter-University sports competition of its kind in Europe. As the University of York is hosting Roses this coming year, Sheppard is particularly keen to prepare the teams. This comes after York lost the event in 2018 by nearly 100 points. The last time York beat Lancaster by a similar margin was in 2015, with a victory points total of 227.5 (Lancaster won with 225.5 this year). Both of these extreme victories were won by the hosting team.

Sheppard commented that “for Team York to be successful going forward, the university need to support us! Roses brings loads of positive attention to the university, but the sport programme is massively underfunded. To keep up the competition we need to do more to support our teams and for that we need the funding to provide these services.”

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