So there we have it. The last bastion of good, wholesome sport at York is on the way out.
Like Faustus, college sport has sold its soul for a millisecond of power before its coming demise… and we are all supposed to think this is good. Free college sport, we hardly knew ye.
But sorry, I don’t. James, Alcuin and Vanbrugh’s decision to introduce a flat rate of £30 for access to college sport is an abysmal idea that threatens to mutate the accessible lower house of the York Sport Union into the bastard child of its elite cousin, BUCS.
Like many I have had my fair share of college sport experiences. Bar editing the news paper you are reading now, I’d say the pinnacle of my university experience was captaining Derwent Darts to an absolute twatting by James in the first round of the College Cup last year.
Being able to rock up and play with a simple Facebook message was the only thing that allowed me to fall into the ragtag Derwent darts team. I didn’t want to play University sport. I couldn’t afford the fees, the kit or the Thursday morning hangovers.
But alas, these colleges have sold out their members. Particularly fucked over are the sports like pool, who are being made to shell out to subsidise the training of sportspeople which will make the square root of no change to their experience of college sport (that is if they can afford to pay the fee in the first place).
Even for the optional sports, those who take the training will be immeasurably disadvantaged against those who have the means to afford training, rendering college sport with a chasm of ability to bridge.
What is the point in the college sport system if it becomes University Sport but watered down like a Lowther pint.
If I were a sporting student in one of these colleges, I’d move. Thank god Derwent had the good sense not to participate in this but on that point, one has to wonder where this leave the equity of sporting provision between the colleges.
5 sporting colleges are now hilariously disadvantaged in their resources and it is almost certain that these colleges’ results will suffer. Who knows, the lack of even the most basic semblance of fair play will result in seasoned college sport players ceasing to play any sport at all, having already binned off BUCS for a lack of sporting ability, funds or time.
This could be the death knell of social sport culture at York, flinging us back to a bygone age where accessibility is at a premium, just like everything else.
If we are so proud of the cultures brewed by our college system, and it’s right that we are, then why have we made such a boneheaded move that is bound to enfeeble it.
Scrap the fee and allocate greater staff time to helping find external funding for college sport rather than leaving the JCRCs in the lurch after scrapping the preferable, though still objectively shite, college fee at the beginning of last year which was heralded as a massive win for YUSU and student consumers.
It’s about time that we stood up and say, if we are still having to pay through the nose for sport, then whats the point in us spending at poor quality campus bars and eateries which supposedly funds it? Either prove that you are worth the monopoly or bugger off.
Featured Image by Luke Snell