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Roar’s Guide to Cheering on KCL at Varsity

Photo by Anna Summons, courtesy of KCLSU

First-year student? Varsity newbie? Roar has a shortlist of King’s College London (KCL) chants that you might hear over the next few weeks.

Are you looking to spectate a Varsity match this year and wondering how to inflict maximum psychological damage on our Bloomsbury foes? This is the right guide to Varsity chants for you! Many students bring cardboard signs featuring photos of their friends competing in the game, or nicely drawn KCL-supporting slogans – but if you’re a more casual supporter, you can simply join in with the hollering and hooting in support of King’s athletes. 


A twist on UCL, this quick-witted response is often fired back whenever that name is invoked among the KCL stands. It must be said with a dramatically feigned ignorance of the Jeremy Bentham-founded university and a genuine lack of concern that said university’s team may threaten King’s supremacy on the field. If you are approached by student media, answering “what would you say to UCL?” with “who-CL?” is greatly enjoyed.


Sports fans commonly say that they bleed their team’s colours as a metaphor for their die-hard loyalty. This works perfectly in favour of KCL, as our institutional colour is red, but gets a little awkward for UCL, whose official colour is purple. Naturally, many King’s students take the mickey out of their UCL peers for this. 


Students usually activate this one when the opposing side is losing and their supporters get a bit quiet, taunting the lack of cheers from their opponents. Given how beautiful the Maughan Library is, and how cold the weather in March can be, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if some students might wish that they actually were in the library. It’s not a particularly meaningful chant, given that both schools’ spectators tend to be boisterous regardless of the score, but it’s certainly a creative idea and less weird than some of the others, including the next one…


Some UCL medical science students possess strange minds. Not content with sports-based banter, their go-to chant involves some friendly trash-talk comparing the quality of education at each university. There are two entrance examinations to qualify for medical schools in the UK: the Bio-Medical Admissions Tests (BMAT) or University Clinical Aptitude Tests (UCAT). Most universities, including KCL, accept only UCAT scores, but a tiny handful of coveted programmes, including Oxbridge and Imperial, require applicants to take the BMAT. Whichever of the two is more advantageous for university admissions remains a hot and unresolved topic of debate, but it is of UCL’s opinion that the BMAT is harder. Their fans therefore often assert that those who go to King’s simply must have simply failed to gain a good enough BMAT score to secure entry into their university. Should you encounter this chant at a game, the simplest King’s response is to point out that Cambridge, Imperial and even UCL are abandoning the BMAT for the UCAT soon, so we’re all the same after all. Although that doesn’t make for a catchy chant. The easier option is to chant back, “What was your BMAT score?”, since UCL accepts significantly lower grades than the other BMAT-requiring universities.



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