Varsity Recap 2024

by Eleanor Partington

It’s time for a Varsity 2024 wrap-up! Varsity 2024 happened on March 21st all day, and man was it so much fun. For the uninitiated Varisty is the annual sports clash between the Royal Holloway Bears and their rivals the Surrey Stags. With a day full of unique sporting competitions of all types —from poker to squash to polo— Varsity is always full of fun competitive spirit! 

Although Varsity saw us losing to Surrey once again (next year guys, we’ve got this!), I want to, first of all, shout out all of our amazing teams, coaches, and supporters for making it a great day despite the loss! The energy at Varsity was as electric as it usually is, and it was a great show of sportsmanship all around. Each year, Varsity is highly anticipated by all of our brilliant sports groups (all 80+ of them!) as an opportunity to show off all their hard work and represent the University, with the weeks leading up, a tiring show of determination and resilience held together by persistently great teamwork.

Despite the rather brutal loss of 23-51 to Surrey, Royal Holloway rose above in several sports, namely:

  • Women’s football (1-0)
  • Men’s football (4-2)
  • Pole and Aerial Fitness (304-298)
  • Women’s Volleyball (2-1)
  • Netball (51-26)
  • Frisbee (13-10)
  • Men’s Fencing (103-93)
  • Chess (26-18)
  • Women’s Tennis (8-0)

And, finally, of course, Colossus triumphed with a home win in the mascot footrace. So, overall, we did pretty excellently, and every player/athlete should be proud of themselves for competing! The vigour was kept up on the sidelines too, as supporters from each university cheered their teams on. For having so many people wandering about our campus, the team at the sports centre did a marvellous job keeping everyone safe, happy, and having a great time. The day wouldn’t have been as dynamic without everyone involved.

I was all over campus throughout the day, photographing Dance, Ballroom and Women’s Rugby before finally ending up hanging around the Insanity Radio 103.2 FM booth watching as the football got underway. Even not playing the energy around was palpable; vibrant and exciting, managed very well by the team at RHUL Sport, our amazing volunteers and backed by an uplifting playlist curated by our very own Lottie Macro! You can check out photographs of the event over on Rhul’s sports Instagram page @rhulsport.

Despite the great day, the energy didn’t translate well into the tight space of the SU’s afterparty queue, with reports of shoving and a general air of hostility. There is a definite need to hold each other accountable for quelling the post-match ultra-competitiveness in future inter-university competitions. Beyond the queue, the night seemed to go on without a hitch, ending the event with good vibes and quality back and forth. 

Now, at last, the term is over (it’s gone by so quickly!) and it’s time to give yourselves and your teams a round of applause, a pat on the back and make sure you’re all enjoying a restful Easter break ready for exams next term, good luck!

Written by Eleanor Partington, Edited by Paige Tamasi, Photography by Eleanor PartingtonPublished by Paige Tamasi.