Varsity sports events will not go ahead in 2018, following violence that broke out this past year.
The news comes after concerns about the future of the contest following clashes between rival supporters at the men’s rugby match. Bottles were thrown into the crowd and a small number of students were injured, the Badger reported at the time.
Lucy Williams, Activities Officer for Sussex’s Students’ Union, expressed disappointment at the decision in a statement on her Facebook page. She explained that she was ‘absolutely gutted’ that Varsity was cancelled, writing;
“I’m disappointed that this has unfairly and harshly punished sport students, it’s also hugely disappointing that the people who are penalized aren’t the people who threw the bottles, hurled abuse and ruined what should have been a celebration of the fantastic sporting achievements at Sussex.”
However, the Students’ Union do have plans for an alternative sports event. Williams said she hoped it would take place in March or April, and also promised she would work to ensure Varsity went ahead in the 2018/19 academic year.
The vice chancellors of both universities quickly condemned the violence.
In a joint statement, the Vice-Chancellors of both universities commented:
“We know how much students at both universities have traditionally really enjoyed the annual Varsity event – especially all of those taking part in the various sports. Varsity is an event organised by the University of Sussex Students’ Union and Sport Brighton on behalf of the University of Brighton. It has been agreed that the event won’t go ahead in 2018 to allow time to focus on establishing a new model for future years.”