How did varsity come about?
“It was part of our partnership with MMU Sport. They are trying to develop more professionalism in sport, but alongside that, Neil, who is Head of Sport, summed it up as a final end of season celebration. It was a mixture between focusing on participation and professionalism. So we put our best teams out, but as well as that, if people wanted to go down and watch, get their face painted and enjoy it, then that fulfilled both sides of it, and it was a nice balance. We ran it to showcase our best teams, but also to have a big end of season special, especially for those who are leaving.”
What was the atmosphere like on the day?
“Sometimes varsity events can be dangerous, go one way, and not be great. It was actually really good though, so for example, during the basketball game, the atmosphere was ridiculous! You can see it from the vlog, it was just MMU shouting for MMU and Leeds shouting for Leeds, and it was a really nice, friendly atmosphere. I think it was just fun, and at the end of the day because we weren’t solely focused on performance, no one was really too bothered about the score, like spectator-wise. Obviously the teams were! It was just nice, and other teams got to witness sports that they wouldn’t usually watch. So tennis isn’t one that many people go down and watch, but then there were a few people sitting and watching it and there were some really good tennis players there!”
What were your highlights from the event?
“The main highlight for most people would be the basketball game, because yes, it was a varsity game but it was also a play-off, so it was the only game where the score line meant something. Like I said, the atmosphere was amazing and the boys played really well. It was a close game, which made it more exciting.”
Did you participate on the day?
“I did play. So with the time of year and exams, we had a mixture of our hockey ones and twos, and they play in our ones league. We lost, but we know had we taken our first team then we would have won, and to be fair the second team girls stepped up and were amazing. It was really nice to be able to play with the girls on the second team that you wouldn’t get to play with all year, so that’s another good thing about varsity, you get to play with some people in the club that you haven’t been on a pitch with before.”
What were the key achievements from the day?
"I think having that something for the end of season, so we have the Sports Awards Ball, but to have the event and to have such a range of sports there was a great achievement. It wasn’t just your football and your rugby, it was your futsal, MMU Cheer were there, and the volleyball was there. I think one of the other main achievements was everyone getting to watch different sports that they hadn’t usually seen, or can’t watch because all our sports aren’t on one campus. A massive achievement was that the day went so well with no problems. Our students represented MMU in such a good and sportsmanlike way, that I think we came away really proud."
What would you like to see in future varsity events?
“I think that I’d like to see something similar. I’d like to see us obviously win some more games, with Leeds having won this one. They are higher on that sporting performance level than we are right now, so it was good for us to go up there. Getting a bigger crowd there, and having it in Manchester would be amazing. It’s harder for us, because we’re not ‘on campus’ like they are, but figuring out a way of having it here would be really nice.”
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