The York St. John Vice-President for Student Activities, Jason Chappelow, has expressed reservations regarding Sam Asfahani’s recently announced changes to the annual Varsity tournament. Chappelow stated that he was “disappointed” but agreed it was “understandable that York want to expand” when asked about the new plans.
Commenting further on the recent announcement, disclosed exclusively by Nouse last Tuesday, Chappelow added: “We are a very small University in terms of numbers and facilities as well as being in the city centre; it’s a shame that the great rivalry between the two universities couldn’t continue as we believed that’s what the White Rose Varsity should be about”.
Plans for a four team tournament, which would have seen St. John retained with Leeds Trinity All Saints College and Hull added to the Varsity roster, have been put on the back-burner due to organisational difficulties. In light of that it was decided that the competition would be limited to York and Hull in an attempt to increase the intensity of the tournament in the run up to Roses.
Chappelow spoke out regarding criticisms of the level of competition, saying: “In terms of providing more competition; the last three Tri-Varsity’s we had with Hull and Teesside from 2006, 2007 and 2008; York St. John were victorious on all occasions. I think one of the main factors is that the high expectations York University students have as a result of Roses aren’t replicated in the White Rose Varsity; consequently York University students start questioning whether a different University may be of preference.”
Chappelow went on wish York and his sabbatical counterpart well: “On a final note; all the best to York Sport and Hull University in putting on a fantastic competition; I’m sure with Sam (Asfahani, York Sport President) in charge it can be a successful weekend of action” but added that “only time will tell if this was the correct decision.”
When asked about Chappelow’s comments Asfahani was swift to defend the changes: “The complications arose very late in the organisation and it meant that a Varsity with York and Hull was the most practical solution and the most beneficial to our students” adding that “it is in our every intention to involve York St. John in the future”.