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Crowds are back again for Varsity 2022 after three-year absence

Spectators will make a welcome return to the biggest sporting event in University of Gloucestershire’s calendar for the first time in three years at Varsity 2022.

More than 20 teams from the University will showcase their abilities over nine days of sporting action as they go head to head with University of Worcester at well-known venues within Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

It will be the first Varsity series to be played in front of spectators since 2019, after Covid-19 restrictions meant the 2020 series was cancelled and the 2021 series was held behind closed doors, with tickets for this year’s fixtures now available.

Charlotte McFarland, Activities and Opportunities Officer at the Students’ Union, said: “If there one thing that defines a sporting event, other than who wins, of course, it’s the roar of the crowd.

“We’re so pleased to be hosting a Varsity series with spectators after many months of playing behind closed doors.

“Having students from across the University out there in force, supporting the teams, creates an amazing environment in which to play.

“The passion the supporters and athletes bring to this event is one like no other and I’m sure everyone is really excited about Varsity 2022 getting under way.”

The equestrian team have an opportunity to win the University’s first points of Varsity 2022 today (28 March) when they compete in dressage and showjumping competitions at Court Equestrian in Worcester.

On Wednesday, the University’s men’s and women’s badminton teams, volleyball team, men’s basketball, dance team and netball team will be targeting success in their matches at Worcester Arena.

Owen Waters, Badminton Club captain, said: “It feels great to have the opportunity to take part in Varsity 2022 with the badminton team. It’s exciting to represent the University in this major event.

“We’re all looking forward to playing in front of the University crowd and hopefully bringing back a win.”

The first event to be held in Gloucestershire takes place on Thursday when the University athletics team competes against University of Worcester in a host of track and field events at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham.

Premiership rugby club Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium is the venue for men’s and women’s rugby union matches, football fixtures will be held at Gloucester City FC’s New Meadow Park, and cricket matches will be hosted by Cheltenham Cricket Club.

Nick Tracey, Cricket Club captain, said: “The players who are in the preliminary 15 squad have been working really hard, they have set their goals and are pushing 110% to make sure they achieve them.”

Highlights of Varsity 2022 also include American Football, tennis, hockey, futsal and trampolining at Oxstalls Sports Park and swimming and cheerleading at GL1 Leisure Centre in Gloucester.

Varsity 2022 supports the Students’ Union #NEVEROK campaign – backed by the University – aimed at driving home the message that every student should have an opportunity play and enjoy sport in a safe and inclusive environment