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Sussex Students’ Union announces this year’s Varsity substitute

The event will replace the traditional Sussex vs Brighton Varsity following violence last year

The Sussex Students' Union Activities Officer, Lucy Williams, announced on Facebook that the traditional Sussex vs. Brighton Varsity will be replaced with a new day of sporting events in April 2018.

Following violence at the 2017 Varsity, which involved flares, provocative chants, a number of hospitalisations and made national news, a decision was made by both universities to cancel the 2018 Varsity.

Lucy said in her post: " Varsity featured on my manifesto, and I was determined not to see sporting students unfairly punished for something that (almost) none of them were involved with."

Varsity abandoned after descending into violence

Varsity was abandoned after descending into violence

Posted by The Tab Sussex on Monday, March 20, 2017

The replacement event proposed by the Union is an Alumni sports event in which previous students will face current Sussex students for a weekend of sporting fixtures on campus.

The concept for the event is for the captain or president of last year's team to be the Alumni team captain and round up a team of ex-Sussex students to play current students. If the previous year's captain or president is still a Sussex student, it is up to the team to find another suitable ex-student to be the Alumni captain.

As the event is only in the early stages of planning, costings and fixtures are yet to be arranged, but Saturday 14th April 2018 has been provisionally identified as the date for the event.

Last year's Varsity was arguably the most explosive in the history of the event as it saw the men's rugby being cancelled halfway through the match due to security being unable to control the crowd.

In addition to this, bottles were being thrown and banners were being burnt. The hospitalisation of two students who got hit by bottles lead to East Slope Bar, Falmer Bar and the Coop being shut for the afternoon.

Hopefully removing inter-university tension will lead to a more safe and enjoyable sporting event this year, paving the way for the reintroduction of the Sussex vs. Brighton Varisty in future years.

If any clubs would like to be involved, ​​​​​​email Lucy at [email protected] with the subject header 'Alumni vs Current' by Monday 4th December.