The Welsh Varsity 2014 - highlights
Yesterday Wednesday 9th April Cardiff hosted the 2014 Welsh Varsity competition and what a day it was! Every year the Welsh Varsity is one of the highlights of the student calendar, where Swansea University challenge Cardiff University in 31 Varsity shield sporting events and the main event - the men's rugby. The annual event sees thousands of students from both universities take over the hosting city’s sports venues to cheer on their teams and enjoy the day with their friends before the Easter holidays begin.
Events during the day
3 shield events - Rowing, cricket and boxing - had already taken place over the weekend, putting Cardiff in the lead with a win in rowing and cricket, but the competition was still anyone’s game with 28 shield sports and the men’s rugby still to be played. We were extremely lucky to have beautiful weather yesterday, which meant that all outdoor sports teams got to compete in the sun while supporters could enjoy the sporting events in the crisp sunshine – something we hadn’t seen for a while in Cardiff! During the day the 28 remaining shield events took place in various locations across Cardiff such as Pontcanna fields, Talybont Sports Centre, Cardiff Lawn Tennis Club, Cardiff International Sports Village, and Cardiff Bay to name a few.
Cardiff University dominated the Varsity Shield with a staggering 23 wins to Swansea’s 7! (excluding results for Men's Volleyball which have yet to be officially announced). The wide range of sports that were included in the Welsh Varsity meant that all students got the opportunity to go and watch their favourite sport or spectate at an event they had never watched before. Sporting events that Cardiff won at this year’s Welsh Varsity included sailing, netball, badminton, lacrosse, taekwondo, swimming, netball, squash, fencing, basketball, canoe polo, and ultimate frisbee!
The Welsh Varsity rugby match
The main event for most students on Welsh Varsity day was the much anticipated men’s rugby match which when held in Cardiff takes place in the Millennium Stadium. As kick off drew closer, Westgate Street became packed with supporters wearing green or red t-shirts and matching face paint holding banners displaying their university’s colours. As the stadium filled with nearly 14,000 students, everyone joined in with humorous chants taunting the rival university; the ‘friendly’ rivalry helped build a great atmosphere before the players had even stepped onto the pitch. After 40 minutes of play (halftime) the score was close with Cardiff leading 8-7 despite Swansea dominating the play. During halftime the cheerleading squads from both universities took to the pitch and went head to head entertaining the crowds with two impressive routines. The tense second half ended with a close final score of 15-19 to Swansea who won the match for the second year running.
Although it was disappointing for Cardiff to lose by such a small margin in the men’s rugby we have to congratulate the Cardiff University women’s rugby team who claimed a 50-7 win for #TeamCardiff when they competed in Pontcanna Fields earlier in the day.
Despite losing to Swansea in the rugby, there were plenty of reasons to celebrate after the game with Cardiff winning the majority of Varsity competitions overall. The official Varsity after party took place at Cardiff University Student’s Union and was the perfect end to the day with both universities coming together to celebrate the wins of this year’s games.