WITH just under a month to go, Salford University will go head to head against Chester University to see who is crowned the Varsity champions.
Save the date, because on Wednesday the 22nd of March, students across the University of Salford will be ditching their pens and pads for rackets, paddles, balls, boots and more. Being the first of its kind in 2016, the title for the varsity champion returns and it is back on home soil. The event having a rich past in its different forms is a day both universities are able to share.
Comprised through twenty different sporting activities, the title for varsity champion is all but at stake. Students indulge in all type
s of sports from football, swimming, rowing and netball to such activities like ultimate frisbee, cheerleading and equestrian.
Last year, Chester University held the student games, edging the win to victory though a 12-8 score. But Salford will be looking for redemption, a chance to clench victory and crown themselves at the varsity champs.
Niamh Shackleton a second year student is captain of the netball second team this year. In last year’s netball game, Salford’s netball team took the victory, Niamh said:
“The team hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the whole of netball is looking forward to varsity as it’s a fun-filled day with lots of excitement about winning”.
Phoebe Jobling is another second year student who competed in cheerleading in last year’s varsity championship. With the varsity coming up, Phoebe talked about the atmosphere in the cheerleading team:
“The atmosphere will be quite tense because this year we have our cheerleading competition on the 19th of march and then varsity on the 22nd which means we only have one practice session between the two events. Hopefully our competition will go well which will set us in good preparation for varsity and we are very excited to perform in front of the university”.
Training is an essential part for the team to be ready at whatever Chester University can muster and throw at Salford University on the day.
“We currently train 7-30 – 10pm every Tuesday and Thursday night where we are doing full out run throughs of our routine to make sure that we are in sync” Phoebe said. “Everybody knows what they are doing as the pressure on the day can be tough. We also have a Monday night session open to practice stunts, tumbling and jumps”.
When asked how the netball team were preparing for varsity, Niamh commented: “Our team have been preparing simply through our weekly training, which our coach has been hitting hard on our cardio, and playing games each week as well”.
Not only is the varsity championship a day for the competing students, but a day to be shared by all students from each university. Coinciding with sports there will be plenty of activities going on around the university.
Support on the day will be essential for Salford to take home the title of varsity champions. Niamh said: “crowds can be a win or lose situation”. It is for sure a day to get down and support your university on this fantastic day. She also added “On one hand it is fantastic to have everyone there supporting and cheering but on the other hand it’s more pressure to do well”.
Last year the cheerleaders narrowly missed the win by 1 point. Looking to redeem themselves and take a win, Phoebe added: “We have a stronger team including more tumblers and we have been practising very intensely so hopefully we beat Chester this year as last year was very close and it would be great to win varsity at our own university”.
Do not forget to grab your varsity t-shirt, stock up on blue and gold paint which will be available from the Salford student’s union and support TEAM SALFORD.
The day will also be covered live by broadcast students on Shock Radio.
By Alex Costello