Wednesday of last week marked the end of the two-week varsity period at university. For those who don’t know, varsity comprises matches for each sport society against a rival university, with the wins and losses for each sport totalled to an overall score – determining which university wins. The University of Leicester compete against DeMontfort University, who share our city – and there is a fierce rivalry between us!
Most of the varsity matches (except for the rugby) are free, so it’s great to go and watch some of the matches, especially to support one of your friends or housemates if they are playing. This year, after a few years break from the sport, I have joined the squash club, so I went to my first squash varsity on Wednesday. It was held at the Leicester Squash Club courts, not where we train, because they are newly refurbished with a seating area which can hold a lot of people to watch the squash matches. Unfortunately, DeMontfort did not have enough female players in their club to enter a women’s squash team, so I was unable to play in varsity, however it was great to watch the men’s first and second team compete. The score in the end was 10-0 to Leicester, so no DeMontfort players won a match, but it was nice to see that they were still in high spirits at the end, congratulating our players and still singing their university chants!
It was also a good occasion to socialise with both our team members and DeMontfort’s squash team. There was a bar at the club, so we had a drink and chatted afterwards. Their team captain also initiated a boat race (a drinking competition) between the two teams, joking that although we could beat them at sport, we couldn’t beat them at drinking – and they were right! After that, we all walked down to a pub called the Loaded Dog to get some food, which was good as many of the other sports teams playing that day had done the same.
Following this was the rugby in the evening. Rugby is quite big in Leicester (more than football, I would say), with the city’s team being the Leicester Tigers. Our university sports kit colours match those of the Tigers as well. The rugby is always the last match of varsity, and it’s held at the Tigers Stadium which is pretty cool. Both the men’s and women’s teams from Leicester won this year which is great, and I’m pleased to say that overall Leicester won varsity 36-13! (Results can be found here)
After that most of the sports clubs went on a night out to Red Leicester – the sports and societies night held at the O2 Academy in our students union building. It rounded off two weeks of sporting competition, and was a great way to celebrate with your team mates. I’d definitely recommend getting involved in varsity if you come to Leicester.