Revealed: Coventry brand Warwick ‘muppets’ as claims emerge Varsity could be cancelled next year

Cov are apparently looking into potentially changing opponents for Varsity 2019

Coventry University Students' Union are apparently looking for a new opponent for Varsity 2019, a source close to Sports Cov has claimed.

This would mean replacing long standing rivals Warwick, who they've competed against since 1998, amid reports of tension between the rival SUs and emails from Cov's Sports Officer, Scott Staniland, branding his Warwick counterpart a "muppet".

The source, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims the two unions had disagreements over the switch to weekend fixtures, which he says made it more difficult for some sports societies to make it to their events.

This has apparently led to senior members of Coventry Sport to consider competing against other universities in future Varsity competitions.

Other alleged disagreements over venue locations and facility standards for Coventry students have also contributed to a strained relationship between the two unions. For example, Snow Sports took place at Stoke Ski Centre, a 90-minute drive from Coventry.

In an email obtained by The Tab Coventry, Warwick Students' Union were described as "less than helpful in organising an event we believe would be best for our students".

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In the email, Scott Staniland descibes Warwick's Sports Officer, Ellie Martin, as a "muppet" and expresses frustration that sports fixtures not played on the weekend dedicated to Varsity wouldn't count towards the final Varsity score.

In another email, Coventry Hockey raised concerns over having a slippery, frozen field at Warwick, which has been prevalent the past few years. However, the fixture went ahead as scheduled.

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The Tab were told by another source, who also wished not to be named, of health and safety issues regarding the Coventry Sports Centre, where sports such as squash were held.

They claimed the building was in poor shape with plaster falling off the walls and that the floors had no grip, presenting considerable risk to any squash player.

They said: "Players couldn't do certain shots because they could have broken their ankles.

The squash venue in Cov Sports Centre

"They've essentially pissed off one of their biggest teams and one of the best teams in the country. Everyone involved with squash wanted to play at Warwick but no one had any input with Warwick at all!"

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Coventry Sports Centre

President of Coventry American Football, Jonny Clark, told The Tab: "Varsity is all about tradition. A rivalry between two teams is nothing without a bit of history. Although American Football sadly did not take part in Varsity because of a clash with our regular season, this year's promotion means that we would get the opportunity to face them once again next year.

"I know from speaking to our players that this is something they can’t wait for. It makes the fixture all the more special."

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"I feel that swapping opponents would almost be like admitting defeat. I don’t believe there would be the same hype surrounding the event which would be a shame.

"If Varsity is as serious as it seems I think we need to focus more on developing sports within the university in order to spark a change and allow our teams to compete in all sports. With that, the support would grow year on year making it more enjoyable for both uni’s as competitive rivalries are always more captivating."

Varsity has taken place every year between the two universities since 1998. This year's Varsity saw Warwick take home the win with a score of 42-14. Coventry got several big wins including basketball, table tennis, and women's netball.

Scott Staniland VP of Sport and Wellbeing for CUSU declined to comment, Warwick SU have also not responded for comment.

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