Last week, the University of Sussex went up against the University of Man- chester to try and secure the last place in the second round of University Chal- lenge. Unfortunately the team ‘didn’t really get into their stride’ and came out with a loss of 95 points to 210.
However, team captain Joss Mac- Donald describes the experience as be- ing “very enjoyable”.
He said: “it was pretty nerve-wreck- ing but I got a big adrenaline rush out of it. As soon as each show was over, I just wanted to do it all over again.”
In the previous round Sussex scored an impressive 150 points.
Joss said he was: “extremely proud of their performance. You have to re- member only 28 of over a hundred teams make it and we were in the top 18 of those, we actually got more points than several teams who won their first match, plus were up against the bookie’s favourite.”
The team fought quite well and Joss pointed out: “were twenty points ahead half way through’ he says ‘at no point was it a foregone conclusion.”
The average age of team Sussex was 30 compared to Manchester who was only 26. Joss says that having an older team “definitely helped” and he was glad that Teammate Dave Spence, “knew some 80’s music”.
Joss also made the suggestion that “in the future it should be a necessity” to have at least one female member on the teams. He illustrates how “the show is the only insight many young people have to the university world and it’s damaging for the whole of Brit- ish higher education that it’s dominat- ed by middle class white males.”
This is the first time Sussex has even gotten into the first round in 11 years, the last time being in 2003.
Good luck to next year’s team and well done to Matthew Dean, Thomas Whitehurst, David Spence and of course Joss MacDonald for doing so well this year.