On the 3rd October 2018 history was made when the University of Leeds beat local rivals Leeds Beckett University to win their first ever Leeds Varsity.
Leeds Varsity is an iconic event in the city of Leeds’ sporting calendar, and consists of fixtures across the year culminating in one final day of competition where 50+ fixtures are played and the winner is crowned.
For the past 13 years Leeds Beckett have walked away with the trophy but this year was the turn of the Leeds Gryphons.
Going into the final couple of days of competition the gryphons were up 4-2 following the cross country, American football, Intra-mural varsity, cricket and futsal fixtures being played earlier in the year.
On Tuesday night two openers were played, Netball and Hockey. First the women fought hard in the netball and in the second half built up a small lead which they maintained to win 48 – 41 taking a point from Beckett. Over in the Hockey we weren’t so lucky with both men’s and women’s games ending in a draw and Uni losing out narrowly on penalty flicks.
This made the score 5-4 going in to the final day of fixtures.
All our students fought valiantly throughout the day with great determination knowing that every point really does count. Some of the highlights were badminton and volleyball taking a clean sweep of wins, volleyball men and women even won in straight sets. Over in the pool water-polo won both men’s and women’s fixtures to make that their ninth year undefeated.
Our men’s and women’s football first teams also won with the men coming back from 3-1 down to draw 4-4 and take the game to penalties.
Meanwhile on the hockey pitch our women’s fourth team made it look easy, winning by a huge margin of 13-2.
Many other teams had close games and narrowly missed out on points but everyone put in a huge effort, including the large crowds supporting each fixture throughout the day.
With so many fixtures happening throughout the day staff and students checked the website regularly to check what the final scores were, and just before the Rugby Union final took place it was confirmed.
The score was 30-28 to the University of Leeds, an historic moment.
Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University said
“We are so proud of how all our students performed across the various sports competitions, they gave it their all, demonstrating skill, fitness and expertise.
Our joint UOL and LUU staff teams have been exceptional in providing fantastic support to our students to enable this to happen. A true partnership in action.
We so hope that all University and Union staff can share in this success and wish our Leeds Gryphons well for the academic year on and off the field.”
Following the rugby union finale game played in the Emerald Headingly Stadium in front of over 10,000 people (in which Beckett took a significant win) Leeds University Union Activities Officer, Lauren Huxley and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tom Ward, had the pleasure of collecting the overall varsity winners trophy.
A proud moment for everyone at the University of Leeds.
“We WON VARSITY! For the first time ever we triumphed over Leeds Beckett in the overall scores and took the Trophy! So a huge congratulations to everyone who was involved, we are so proud of every team, every member, and everyone who helped with the fixtures and events in any way!”
Bring on next year!