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Lancaster Uni officially cancels Roses 2020 due to coronavirus outbreak

The university has released a statement

Lancaster University has officially cancelled the 2020 Lancaster/York Roses varsity weekend.

The event was due to be taking place in Lancaster on the first weekend in May. Despite the university telling sports club execs at the end of Lent Term that Roses was due to go ahead as planned, regardless of coronavirus fears, the university has now pulled the plug on the sporting weekend.

In a statement released today, the university said: “It is with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of this year’s Roses event due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“This joint decision by Lancaster University and the Students’ Union was taken very reluctantly, but we had no choice given the cancellation of other major sporting events, the ongoing public health situation and recent government advice, which is unlikely to improve in the immediate future.

“We appreciate how disappointing this will be for students who were looking forward to the event, but our priority has to be the health and safety of those competing and the many spectators who will attend.

“At this stage we cannot say whether the event will be rearranged, or what arrangements will be made with regard to the venue for next year’s event. We will have discussions with everyone involved and as soon as the situation becomes clearer, we will let everyone know”

One university club president said: “Although it’s not a huge surprise that uni have cancelled the weekend, it really is a shame. We work towards the games at the end of the year, and really pull together as a club – it’s disappointing that we’re going to miss out on having the weekend here in Lancs, too. Now I know I won’t see Roses in Lancaster whilst I’m studying here, and that’s heartbreaking. But safety obviously has to come first, and I can’t fault the reasoning behind cancelling Roses.”

Many university sports teams see their Roses fixtures as the biggest games of the season, with sports teams being allocated extra training time during the Easter break for “Roses boot camp.” Despite worries that Roses cancellation would lead to some clubs facing partial-defunding, the Students’ Union has said that no clubs should be worried, and that any funding commitments from them will be honoured, Roses or not.