Brand New Varsity Event Comes to Leeds

On Friday 17th March, our Rugby League team will go head to head with a side made up of the best rugby league players from universities across Yorkshire in order to be crowned Yorkshire Varsity champions.

This year, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of student rugby league, which originated here at the University of Leeds, with a week of events culminating with our brand new Yorkshire Varsity event. This will see the Leeds Gryphons take on the ‘Best of Yorkshire’ at Headingley Carnegie Stadium as a curtain raiser to the Leeds Rhino’s vs Wakefield Trinity Super League fixture.

As the event falls on St Patrick’s day, there will be facepaints, irish dancing, and plenty of pre-match and half-time entertainment. Finish the night off at Leeds University Union for a St Patrick’s day fruity, our official Yorkshire Varsity after party.

Get involved:

Tickets for students cost only £13 and include entry to both the Yorkshire Varsity game and Leeds Rhino’s Super League fixture, plus a free drink voucher. Tickets are for the South Stand, the standing terrace along the side of the pitch, undercover, providing a great atmosphere for St Patricks day.

To purchase your tickets, visit the Leeds University Union helpdesk, call 0371 423 1315, or visit the Leeds Rugby Store at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

To book online, head to the Leeds Rhinos website and follow these steps:

  • Go to the Rhinos v Wakefield match on the home games page
  • Select South Stand Student ticket and proceed to checkout
  • Input the promotional code varleeds to redeem this offer
Fruity Early Bird Tickets:
With the hotly anticipated St Patrick’s Fruity sure to be a sell out, we’ve got 40 discounted tickets left to sell alongside the Rugby League Yorkshire Varsity tickets. These are available from LUU helpdesk. 

Please note all bookings are subject to a £1.50 booking fee and when booking online please DO NOT select the ‘Print @ Home’ option as it will not generate your free drink voucher.

Varsity Is Back, Be Part Of It

Leeds Varsity back already? Yes, you’ve read that right. With the New Year comes the new Leeds Varsity 2017 series and we hope you’re as excited as we are!

Kick starting this year’s series is our Cross Country Varsity. Into its 6th year, this annual event has seen some impressive names battling for those all-important Varsity points; Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Gordon Benson, Non Stanford and Tom Bishop to name a few. Don’t let that put you off though, because anyone can take part in this fantastic event.

Much like our parkrun Varsity, students, staff, alumni and members of the public are welcome to take part in this event. The top 6 women and top 12 men finishers will then gain points for their respective universities. With two separate races, an 10km male race, and a 6km female race, there are a total of 2 points up for grabs (more than the Rugby Union finale!). Last year the University of Leeds took both points and the cross country club will be looking to start the season as they mean to go on, and retain wins in both events.

So how do you get involved?

Student runners from their respective Universities will be pre-registerd by their coaches and are required to bring £2 on the day which goes straight to the race charity.

All other entries can be made on the day at the Leeds Beckett track pavilion on Saturday the 14th January. The women’s race will begin at 2pm on West Park fields (adjacent to Leeds Beckett) and the men’s at 2.30pm, so please arrive at least an hour before your race. Please bring £3 to enter the race, all proceeds go to the Hope Pastures charity who use your donations to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home horses, ponies and donkeys in need. You’ll even get to meet a few of their beneficiaries on the day!

The University of Leeds cross country coach, Greg Hull, has high hopes for the event:

“Varsity is always a fantastic day in the cross country calendar, seeing not just our students, but staff and members of the public taking part in an inevitably great race. The rivalry between the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett’s students is friendly but fierce as in all Varsity fixtures. I’m confident we’ll maintain our winning ways this year and pick up 2 points to start the series”

If you’d like to participate in the event but have further questions, please email

Record Breaking Leeds Varsity

uni rugby team cheering winning varsity 2016

Record breaking crowds of over 15,535 people watched The University of Leeds beat Leeds Beckett University in the Rugby Union finale event at Headingley Carnegie Stadium to round off an amazing few days of competition.  

The 12th year of the competition between local rivals, The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University was as competitive as ever and resulted in the final score of 32 – 31 in favour of Leeds Beckett University. This was one of the closest Leeds Varsity competitions ever where just just one match could have clinched it for The University of Leeds.

This year saw the introduction of a new event, parkrun varsity in which over 100 students turned up to represent the University of Leeds and take an easy victory over counterparts Leeds Beckett University. There was also another new headline event with the women’s netball taking place on the Tuesday night with well over 300 spectators who cheered the University of Leeds to victory.

The finale day itself was packed with intense competition and both universities battled hard against each other throughout the day.

The University of Leeds started the day off in style with a comfortable win in the indoor rowing, followed on with a strong start in pool for the biathlon who later went on to win both the men’s and women’s as they did in 2015. The university continued to dominate in the pool, effortlessly winning both the men and women’s swimming gala and water polo making them undefeated for the 7th year running. There was some fierce competition down at The Edge with the University hosting the badminton, volleyball and korfball. After some hard battled fixtures, the University came out on top in the korfball with an impressive 12 – 7 victory.

Meanwhile up at Sports Park Weetwood, the men and women’s hockey teams dominated over Leeds Beckett winning 7 out of their 8 fixtures with only the women’s 1st team narrowly missing out on a victory. Having suffered some heavy defeats in the previous year, the women’s football club also dominated, and took a clean sweep of victories against our local rivals.

Back indoors, the university netball teams put in a sterling performance with wins from the 2nd and 3rd teams. The impressive Tuesday night victory 33-29 clearly inspired the other teams to victory.

Fixtures were split evenly this year across the two Universities and it seems Leeds Beckett University enjoyed a home turf advantage with victories in all 6 tennis matches, both men and women’s lacrosse and the men and women’s handball.

The Varsity day culminated with the men’s rugby union finale at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. The overall scores were nail bitingly close leaving the rugby union side going out on to the field with everything to play for. With a record breaking attendance of 15,535, the 2016 Leeds Varsity is officially the biggest ever. The boys held their nerve and gave it their all to secure hard earned a 20 – 9 victory against league above side Beckett.

Coach Mark luffman said:

“The hard earned victory is a fitting reward for the boys as it shows just how hard the team have worked in pre-season and how much progress they have made over the past year. It was not an easy Beckett side to beat.

The crowd were fantastic and it’s great to have the support of so many students to give the team that extra boost when they need it.”

Claiming that final Varsity point settled the scores at 32 – 31. Congratulations Leeds Beckett University for their overall victory and well done to all players, coaches, volunteers, staff and spectators for the huge commitment and dedication to Leeds Varsity 2016. Thank you also to RAG for raising money for a fantastic cause, climbing out, and our student media societies for their coverage of the game.

A full list of the results can be found here, and keep an eye out on our social media channels for photo’s and videos from the day.


Varsity Teams Up With parkrun

student running in fields

Leeds Varsity are excited to announce another brand new event in this years series. This year, we have teamed up with parkrun to bring you our very own parkrun Varsity.

If you’ve always wanted to be involved with Varsity and help your University score those all important varsity points, now you can! So how does it work?

Each runner and volunteer will score a point for their University, the University with the most points wins parkrun Varsity!

When? Saturday 1st October, 8.30am

Where? Woodhouse Moor

How? Register with parkrun then simply turn up on the Saturday morning wearing your University colours to take part. Both staff and students are welcome! Parkrun is a 5km run which you can take as slow or as fast as you like. If you are keen to get involved but can’t run, don’t worry, you can volunteer just turn up in your colours and you’ll still score a point for your University. There will be 3 funnels after you’ve finished, you simply need to make your way down the funnel allocated to your University and hand in your token.

Who wins? You will only score a point for your university if you register and wear your University colours. The University with the most participants (runners and volunteers) will be the parkrun Varsity victor!

Helpful Information for on the day

  • Register beforehand
  • Print off and bring your barcode
  • Leave bags and coats at the finish line not the start line
  • Get to the start line for 8:50am
  • Please listen carefully during the run briefing
  • It’s a run not a race, you’re an ambassador for the University of Leeds. Please be considerate to other runners and park users
  • Wear your university’s colours, GREEN for Uni, PURPLE for Beckett.
  • Try to seed yourself on how fast you think you’ll be able to complete the run
  • Cross the finish line the third time it comes into sight
  • After crossing the finish line stay in order until given a finish token
  • Get your barcode and finish token scanned at your University-specific scanning station
  • Our Get Out, Get Active team have recently set up their own run club so if you’d like a club to run for, please select Get Out, Get active – Uni of Leeds run club when you sign up.

New Varsity Event

Each year Leeds Varsity gets bigger and better, like last year when the rugby finale reached a record breaking attendance of 14,232.

As much as we love the climatic rugby fixture, we also know that Varsity is about more than the finale. We have over 60 fixtures across over 25 sports in just one day making it an incredibly unique event. With this in mind, to make this year even greater, we’ve added in a brand new event – The Netball Varsity Opener.

woman about to throw netball

On Tuesday the 4th October, our University of Leeds Netball first team will journey over to the Leeds Beckett Sports Arena where they will go head to head with Leeds Beckett first team in a fierce battle for that all important Varsity point.

The game will begin at 7.30pm making this the first ever 24 hour varsity. Doors will open at 6.30pm, with refreshments available in the fanzone and pre-game and half-time entertainment from both Universities dance and cheer teams, this is an event not to miss.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be the captain of such a special & prestigious club. It’s my 3rd varsity and its such an enjoyable event. All the club have been training extremely hard throughout pre-season and the atmosphere and excitement is building the closer it gets.”

Club Captain Beth Horridge


Tickets are available to purchase online now and cost only £2.


If you would like any more information on Leeds Varsity please head to our website or follow us on social media @leedsvarsity and Leeds Varsity – Uni Fans.

Varsity Spring Round-Up

At the end of the academic year, a number of teams take part in showcase Varsity events including American Football, T20 Cricket and Rugby League. This year saw Leeds Beckett dominate the spring events leaving it all to play for in the October Varsity Finale.

First up in the 2016 series, our American Football Leeds Celtics team headed up to Sports Park Weetwood for a highly contested battle against Carnegie. Having previously never scored a touch down in any Varsity events, the Celtics managed an impressive 3 this year, but couldn’t quite hold on to victory with the final score 41-26 to Leeds Beckett.

amf cheer

A few weeks later the men’s and women’s T20 cricket sides took to the field in the annual Tommy Hardman memorial match. The weather managed to hold out for the fixtures but unfortunately, even with the support of George the Gryphon, the University of Leeds couldn’t produce a win and both teams were beaten by strong Leeds Beckett sides.

cricket huddle

The final Varsity event of the Academic year took place on 12th May with the Rugby League boys curtain-raising for another hotly contest local derby, Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers in the Super League. A promising University side put up a strong battle and a highly contested first half with a fantastic break away try. A strong Leeds Beckett side showed their experience in the second half and managed to take the final score to a convincing 38-6 at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

Rugby League

That leaves the overall score at 2-2 leaving it all to play for come October!

Varsity – Up and coming

Cricket T20 Varsity

Head down to Sports Park Weetwood on Friday 6th May to support your women’s and men’s cricket teams as they take on Leeds Beckett in the next round of the 2016 Varsity series.

The women’s game will begin at 2pm, followed by the men’s at 5pm. Both games will be a 20-20 format and don’t worry if you’re unsure of the rules, we’ll have announcements throughout the event to keep you up to speed with the score. Refreshments will be available to purchase but please refrain from bringing your own food and drinks to the facility. The event is free to attend.

Social League

This year’s Social League Varsity will take place on Wednesday 11th May. Winners of this years social leagues will represent the University across an array of sports including 7-aside and 5-aside Football, Hockey, Netball and new this year, Touch Rugby.

Leeds Beckett will be hosting the event but our University of Leeds representatives enter as favourites after a last year’s victory.

Rugby League

The hotly anticipated Rugby League Varsity on Thursday 12th May! See the University of Leeds Rugby league boys take on Leeds Beckett, followed by the Leeds Rhinos vs Castleford Tigers.

The Varsity game will kick off at 5.30pm at Headingley Carnegie Stadium before the Leeds Rhinos game at 8pm. Finish the night off at Stylus for our very own after party.

Tickets cost just £15 and include access to both games, a drink in the stadium and your after party ticket.


Keep a look out on our Varsity social medial channels for the build up to the events @LeedsVarsity16 and ‘Leeds Varsity – Uni Fans’

Leeds Varsity 2016 Cross Country

The first event of Leeds Varsity 2016 kicked off at a very muddy Weetwood with University of Leeds securing both those all important Varsity points.

The women’s race was lead the whole way by guest runner, Leeds Beckett Alumni Sam Johnson who battled the mud in the clear blue skies to claim first place. The first student back was University of Leeds womens captain Beth Garland with a time of 22.28 minutes. Overall there was 27 runners in the womens race with University of Leeds coming away with the most team points to take the first point of the 2016 Varsity.

Next up were the men who had 45 runners in total, Callum Johnson from Leeds Beckett lead majority of the way finishing in 28.23 minutes. It was nail bitingly close with the final team scores being 141 to University of Leeds to 159 to University of Beckett, with the lowest overall score winning. This saw the hosts University of Leeds men claiming the second Varsity point.

‘It has been a great day especially without the rain or sleet, it is a tough course but pleased at the team effort our lads put in. Ultimately this has put us in a great place ahead of BUCS championships in a few weeks.’ Captain Josh Woodcock-Shaw beams.

The event raised roughly 170 for Hope Pastures Sanctuary who are based across the road from Weetwood North Pavilion that both teams run round for training. We even had Cloud the pony that made an appearance at the race!

All the results will be posted shortly. You can find the event photos here.

Next event will be American Football on Sunday 24th April at Sports Park Weetwood!