In anticipation of this year’s Varsity - the biggest amateur sporting event in Dundee - club captains from the city’s two universities staged a face-off at the top of the Law on Monday 7 March to launch the competition.
15 sports were represented in total, with 20 club captains from each university team attending to promote the event.
There is a huge rivalry between the two institutions, and around 500 students will take part in the competition on Wednesday 23 March.
They will be battling it out for the coveted Tay Varsity Challenge Trophy, which Dundee University have won for the past nine years.
However, Abertay have had a number of successes in competitions throughout British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) this year and are looking to become Varsity champions for the first time.
In fact, Michael Devlin, Sports Development Officer at Abertay University, believes this year is the best chance Abertay has ever had at winning the trophy. He explains:
“Varsity is always a great competition. Lots of the students play against each other throughout the year – sometimes Abertay win, sometimes Dundee win – but Varsity is a great way to finish the year off.
“There’s a lot of build up to it and a lot of expectation and it gets everybody involved and creates a real sense of community because a lot of the time the different Abertay clubs don’t see each other as they all train in different places on different days. So it brings everyone together.
“We’re definitely the underdogs in the competition though. Dundee has about 2000 members in its sports union, and we have only 420, so they have a much wider range of people to select their team members from than us.
“However, I have high hopes for Abertay this year. This is definitely the best chance of winning we’ve ever had.
“We had a really good intake of players with new students joining us at the start of the year, and the quality and talent was quite high. We’ve seen that throughout the year with the British Universities & Colleges Sports competitions: we’ve won a number of leagues in a number of different sports, so I think this year will be the closest year for Varsity yet.
“Year on year we’ve got closer and closer and the gap’s got smaller and smaller, so I think this year will be our best opportunity so far to win the trophy.”
Dominic Marshall, President of Dundee University Sports Union, said:
“This is by far our biggest event of the year. Many of our clubs take on Abertay during the year but this the chance for all our students to come together and settle the issue of who really is the best in Dundee!
“Abertay have been looking stronger and stronger over the past few years and this year will be a tight contest but I am confident we will extend our good run.”
The event begins at noon with contests taking place on the pitch, court, course and gym, culminating in the men’s basketball match at 4pm at the University of Dundee’s Institute of Sport and Exercise.
After the dust settles, the teams will meet up for some well-earned refreshments and to celebrate the friendship between the two universities in Bar One at Abertay University.
This will be followed by the “Varsity Afterparty” at Liquid, where teams and supporters from both sides are welcome.
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