In the sin bin: Varsity 2013

UCLU releases statement cancelling the Varsity 2013

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More confusion has sprung up surrounding the fate of Varsity 2013 after UCLU confirmed the cancellation of the annual KCL–UCL Rugby Match.

Despite UCLU Officers telling The Tab on Thursday that Varsity 2013 would not be cancelled, UCLU released a statement on Friday that dashed hopes for the UCL social calendar.

The statement read: “After a period of consultation between UCL Union and KCLSU it is with regret that the decision has been made not to go ahead with the traditional rugby matches between UCL and KCL under the banner of The London Varsity as a result of incidents and behaviour at the 2012 event.”

The root of the problem, according to Tom Carr, President of UCLU Men’s Rugby Club, was the loutish crowd behaviour that marred the event last year. Rowdy mascots and game stoppages due to smoke bombs appeared to be too much to let go for the Unions, who have decided the current format of the annual event couldn’t be allowed to continue.

Carr also said he has met with UCLU to try and discuss alternative ideas for the match that will prevent the event from being shirked entirely.

Asked if he felt let down by UCLU, Carr said: “I wish they’d come to me sooner, that’s what I would say. One of the problems we’ll now face is that we’re quite tight on time. The only thing that slightly annoyed me, is that this is being discussed in November rather than March last year, or even at the start of this term.

“Other than that, from the conversations I’ve had with Abdul-Ahad Akbari (UCLU Societies and Activities Officer) and the other sports officers, they have put in a lot of time and effort into trying to keep Varsity in the format it was last year and that just hasn’t been possible”

Captain of the first team of UCLU Men’s Rugby Jack Tredea told The Tab:

“I spoke to many people this week who said that it was one of the best nights of the year and to throw away years of history because of a couple of people getting a bit over the top last year seems a bit stupid.”

The news will be disappointing to students, particularly as the match is a yearly public occasion on which UCL can exert their dominance over the Strand Poly in yet an other sphere of university life.