White Rose Varsity cancelled indefinitely

The annual Varsity tournament between the Universities of York and Hull has been cancelled indefinitely, after both institutions agreed there was no future for the tournament.

The competition against Hull, who previously replaced York St John, has run for the last three years – with York hosting the tournament twice – before Hull endured a number of difficulties in running last year’s tournament.

Both parties have expressed concerns about the organisation of last year’s contest, in addition to the future of the competition, due to the strain that it places on particular clubs. As a result, it was decided that the tournament would be removed from the sporting calendar.

York Sport President Cassandra Brown said: “It is no secret that York Sport Union members were becoming frustrated with the spirit and quality of competition at Varsity, but now the event is off the timetable there’s room for other fresh opportunities to complement sport.”

Brown added: “Endings often mean new beginnings and I’m confident that Varsity’s end means a beginning for something new and exciting in its place… I’m currently looking into various options and will be holding a ‘presidents council’ in term one to explore ideas and see what’s best for our clubs.”

varsity football
Action from last year’s Varsity, which endured a number of organisational and logistical problems

Last year Hull defeated York for the first time, after they snatched victory in the title-deciding clay pigeon shootout. But their win was marred in controversy as organisational failures proved detrimental to the success of the tournament. Former York Sport President Charlotte Winter praised the performances of York’s sportsmen and women, but was critical of Hull’s management of Varsity 2013.

Darts player Dylan Chambers told Vision: “After the shambles of last year i’m glad York have shown that, if we are to compete with Hull, they need to improve their organisation of Varsity.”

That first Varsity loss for York meant future competitions could have proven exciting and challenging, perhaps for the first time, after York St John and Hull proved no real struggle for the competitors in black and gold in years before.

There was even speculation that the KC Stadium, home to professional football club Hull City,would be used as a potential future venue. But now York find themselves searching for another University to compete with in future Varsity clashes, if indeed the competition is to exist at all.

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