Written by Yara Abdalgany
In this uncertain time, a lot of big events had to be postponed or cancelled. De Montfort University and the University of Leicester made the very difficult and sad decision to cancel Varsity this year.
At the time of cancellation, it was only one week before the first day of Varsity. Which was going to be held at Welford Road Stadium, the home of Leicester Tigers. Few were surprised by the decision that was made, but many were disappointed, myself included.
Varsity is a big part of student life at University, especially to those students that play in a sports team. Varsity also requires a lot of preparation, whether that’s the team’s efforts in practising tirelessly and sorting out teams, or DMU Sports scheduling and preparing for the event. While for us, Demon Media, we had to make preparations to cover the event. Which requires looking for crew, booking equipment, and making sure to cover as many sports as possible.
With just one week to go everything was ready and rearing to go. The teams had their kit ready and their head in the game. Everyone was focused on playing and playing well.
Members of the Men’s Rugby team reacted by immediately calling the Chair of their team, Ben Nossiter. According to Ben, the team was absolutely gutted as it was the last opportunity for a lot of the third-year players to finish off their University Rugby career. Varsity was something the committee and team have been hyping up, and looking forward to, since the season began.
A number of the players had their parents, friends and family coming from all over the country to watch. Ultimately the team knows that the University made the right choice in cancelling Varsity, as the health of their members and the supporters are paramount, but still, it is gutting for the players to miss out on these final year events.
Women’s rugby said that Varsity being cancelled has meant a lot of people won’t ever get the opportunity to play at Welford Road. People have also lost money due to it being cancelled because some booked time off work and hotels to come and watch the fixture. Women’s rugby chair, Rachel Gresty, said that she understands that people’s safety comes first. This does not take away, however, that it is a disappointing outcome to the end of her time at University. Especially when it’s meant to be the pinnacle of her sporting experience.
Women’s football was another team which were very upset about the cancellation, but just like the other teams they also understand why the decision was made. According to Imy Alps, the Secretary, a lot of their third-year team members missed out on their last opportunity to say goodbye. While girls in their first year were also very disappointed, because it was meant to be their first time playing Varsity, and they had so looked forward to it. Especially as they had just received their tops, which said ‘Varsity 2020’ and which they can no longer use and play with.
Men’s football, just like the previous teams, indicated that everyone has been very upset. Connor, the Men’s football chair, said that Varsity is the time to show off all the hard work they had put in training this year, which they now are not able to do. They are also gutted as they had several other events planned.
Philip Davies, Men’s Futsal social secretary, said that it was a very emotional time, especially because he has already played his last game at University without realizing it.
Fortunately, everyone understands that this decision had to be made, and is coming together to do what they can for the greater good. However, this does not take away that a lot of people will be leaving University without some of the amazing memories that were to be made over the next month.