Nouse can exclusively reveal that the York Sport Union have decided the 2019 incarnation of the annual Roses tournament between York and Lancaster will act as “a showcase of women’s sport and the incredible female athletes we have at York. The decision has been taken that for the first time in the history of the tournament, both the Opening and Closing ceremonies will feature women’s fixtures.
On Friday 3rd May, the Netball 1s team will take on their Lancaster counterparts in what promises to be a fast paced and entertaining encounter between the two sides in the Sport Arena on Heslington West Campus. Netball has been selected as a reflection of the growing status and popularity of the sport in the UK, spurred on by Team England’s dramatic gold medal win in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, along with the Netball World Cup being hosted in Liverpool in July 2019. York Sport Union has contacted England Netball to enquire about support for the event.
University of York Netball Club President, Elena Sullivan-Williams accepted the opening berth with delight, saying that “it’s a challenge we are raring to accept, and we can’t wait to start off the journey to another home Roses win.” Netball captain Pascale Fisher echoed the sentiments of Elena, telling Nouse that, “Roses is normally the highlight of our season, so it’s quite surreal to have the opportunity to open the tournament.” Fisher went on to say that the club “know it will be a tough one, as our 1s team has never beaten Lancaster, but our focused training and the support of the home crowd should see us secure the win we deserve.”
On Sunday 5th May, the Women’s Rugby 1s XV face Lancaster in the tournament’s Closing Ceremony as the latter half of a Rugby Union double-header, which will see the Men’s 1s side precede their female contemporaries for the first time, in a change of a long standing precedent of the Men closing the tournament out. The Women’s Rugby Union 1s are York’s highest performing team, unbeaten since March 2017 and sitting top of the 1A division, with promotion to the Premier Division looking increasingly likely, as well as a strong chance of success in the BUCS Trophy for the 2018/19 season. Their success has been rewarded with the Closing Ceremony honour, giving hundreds of supporters the chance to see York’s highest achievers live in action.
In response to the finalisation of the Opening and Closing ceremonies during ‘This Girl Can’ week, York Sport Union President Zac Sheppard told Nouse: “I’m delighted to announce Netball and Women’s Rugby as the showcase fixtures of the weekend. I can’t wait to see a packed crowd in the arena cheering York in the Opening Ceremony.” Sheppard also alluded to other changes still to come in a bid to make Roses 2019 the best ever, saying, “Roses 2019 planning is well underway, and there are still loads more announcements to come…”
This 2019 Roses tournament will take place across York from the 3rd – 5th May.