Image Credit: York Sport Union
Sport at York undeniably dominated by two events: Varsity which takes place in February and Roses in May. York Sport Union have now tried to change this with the introduction of the York games.
A new event which will take place in Autumn term filling this void where a sporting event was missing. Autumn, Spring and Summer will now be covered giving the whole campus some sport to look forward to. Chris Oldnall, the Equal Opportunities Officer for York Sport Union said that “it brings a very good ‘Olympic’ spirit to campus and creates an Autumn term event, since Spring and Summer terms are devoted to college Varsity and Roses this allows York to focus on York.”
The Games are a chance for friends to create these ‘Super Teams’ and compete against other student made teams in a range of events. The teams will need to be a mixture of genders amounting to 10 members and there is enough room for 28 teams in total. The event is now taking individual sign ups so you haven't missed your chance to participate.
This diversity in teams will come through, those not involved in sports teams, (and therefore won’t be competing in Varsity or Roses), and also gives a chance for people who can’t commit fully to a sports team for the whole year round to get involved and really feel part of the sporting community in York.
Financial commitments and university timings make it very difficult for some people to stay involved in a sports team or even join one in the first place so a one-off tournament will provide some solution to that. Given the amount of physical commitment and time and effort needed to make it into a roses team, everyone at York can have a big event to look forward to from now on.
While it is a competition like Varsity and Roses, it adds a different element of inclusivity anyone of any sporting ability can compete also given the timing of the event, it is a good chance for freshers to get involved as well allowing them to compete with their flatmates, for example. It also won’t be held back through commitment to revision or coursework it is a relatively quiet time of the year with people just getting settled in.
It also gives a chance to show off some of the facilities York Sport has to offer with events taking place all across campus - such as the gym in the Sports Centre and the swimming pool in the Sports Village. This will be beneficial to both students new and old showing how accessible sport is for everyone on campus. The places I found intimidating at first (such as the gym,) aren’t so much as they may seem and are very friendly environments.
This will also add to the events already happening in York such as the Get Active programme getting as many people as possible staying active and healthy. The event was originally going to cost students to participate but this was changed to £0 to gain traction for the event-given it is the first time it has happened. In years to come a financial aspect could be added to maintain and upgrade the excellent facilities available at the university.
Other events such as the 5-a side football tournament for RAG will round off a brilliant first term for sport, giving as many opportunities to get involved with sport as possible. The York Games will hopefully headline the start of the sporting calendar in York’s first term, setting the tone for an inclusive University that wants all students to participate in physical activity to benefit their physical health as well as their mental wellbeing. Also, there is the added incentive of a Black Card for each member of the winning team, something which will surely draw people in every year, with the promise of better access to York’s best club nights.
Day 1 Schedule: Saturday 9 November
• Tug of War on 22 Acres
• 10km row in the ~YSC Gym/Arena
• Swimming in the YSV pool
Day 2 Schedule: Sunday 10 November
• Capture the flag on 22 acres
• Netball in the YSC Arena
• Olympics style event on theAthletics track.