University College London won back the London Varsity crown on Monday, 20 March, claiming the series 17-12.
Over five days of competition, TeamUCL and KCLSU Sports went head to head in 29 matches involving 18 different sports. Each match win awarded the winning team’s institution a point, with the final cumulative score determining the series victor.
TeamUCL won: Rowing, Netball, Pole Dance, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting and Powerlifting, Men’s Football, Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Hockey, Women’s Hockey, Medics Women’s Hockey, Taekwondo, Men’s Volleyball, Women’s Volleyball, Medics Rugby, Men’s Fencing, and Men’s Rugby.
KCLSU Sports won: Medics Netball, Ultimate Frisbee, Women’s Football, Men’s Lacrosse, Medics Men’s Hockey, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Badminton, American Football, Athletics, Women’s Fencing, and Women’s Rugby.
Thursday, the first day of games, saw an even spread of wins before TeamUCL gained a sizeable lead the next day. KCL clawed back some ground on Saturday, sparking hopes of a possible comeback, but the competition was over by Sunday as TeamUCL’s triumph at Medics Rugby brought their win total to more than half of the games.
Two nail-biting Rugby games closed out Varsity on Monday, with both rounds coming down to the wire of the last few minutes. The women’s team scored a try in the last play and converted it to bring the game home 12-10. The men found themselves in a similar situation against UCL as UCL had less than three minutes to score and convert a try – which they did. A pitch invasion ensued amidst the ecstatic celebrations of the purpleshirts.
This year’s Varsity was the second iteration held in full force after the pandemic. Students from both universities were out and about at the various sports venues across London, with some as far as Richmond, Stratford, and Hammersmith. Particularly at the Medics events were there packed stands of vociferous spectators – a mark of the strong camaraderie found within both medical schools, home to more than a thousand students each.
Roar Comment editor, Fintan Hogan, said that “despite the loss, KCL has a lot to be proud of. Expectations were high after last year’s win, but we fell a little short. We can only hope to reclaim the title in 2024. Everyone at Roar is very grateful to our Sports team, and other drafted-in staff writers, for bringing student coverage and support to the occasion.”