Try being scored by rugby team

Over 3,000 students gave their all at the weekend helping Team UOP put in a great shift with a narrow loss to the University of Southampton.

  • 14 March 2022
  • 9 min read

Varsity returned to Portsmouth for the first time since 2019 over the weekend and saw a fantastic response from students, staff, alumni and families. Varsity was sadly one of the first events to be cancelled before the COVID pandemic struck in 2020 which meant we couldn’t head to Southampton to compete. A small fixture based Varsity was held last year but spectators were unable to get involved, so the return of Varsity this year is fantastic for players and spectators alike.

Varsity, last won by the University of Portsmouth back in 2013 was held at HMS Temeraire, St. Paul’s Gym and a number of other venues across the city. A number of fixtures took place last week in more specialist facilities and those that we could not accommodate.

We’re so pleased to be able to bring this event back to Portsmouth after a long wait, it’s fantastic to see so many people back enjoying the event. A win would’ve made it extra special, but it was so much fun regardless of the result.

Amber Jerome, Sports Events Officer

Over 3,000 students, staff and families came together to celebrate sport against a great opponent in the University of Southampton. We went into the weekend losing so had it all to play for. After many narrowly fought fixtures including an extremely close 22-27 loss to Men’s Rugby in a packed out stadium, we, unfortunately, missed out by 60 points with the Varsity Cup travelling back to the University of Southampton. The final result saw the University of Portsmouth rack up 98 points and the University of Southampton tally 158 points. With a number of fixtures going in our favour we performed really well with our development and Campus Sport teams meaning we retained the Intramural Trophy to at least keep some silverware in Portsmouth.

Varsity is a fantastic event that really celebrates the inclusivity of all our sports clubs and sport in all forms. To compete against a very worthy adversary in the University of Southampton is fantastic and a testament to the healthy competition but also strong collaboration between our two universities. I’m delighted that this event could take place, and it is great to see so many students engaged, having fun and enjoying themselves. I’m delighted that our performance on the pitches, courts, and on the water gave a strong representation of us as a student body, but of course, I’d like to congratulate the University of Southampton for their hard-fought victory. We’ll have to now wait another year to bring the trophy back to Portsmouth. It’s fantastic though to see we retained the Intramural cup, which just goes to show the enthusiasm, skill and enjoyment of our students that regularly stay active.

Graham Galbraith CBE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth

Varsity which was sponsored by Carrington West and The Astoria saw over 60 fixtures took place over the weekend with 4 points awarded for a win, 2 points awarded for a draw and 0 points awarded for a loss. Due to our locations we rarely play against our neighbours as we sit in different leagues and competitions in BUCS, so it’s great competition. We’ve seen progress so far as we attempt to climb the BUCS league rankings and hope to finish this season better off than in 2020. This loss means we still have a bit more work to do to win Varsity, but we’re so pleased with our performances so far this year in the BUCS tables and competitions.
Student wellbeing has been a big focus for students since the pandemic and sport is one of the ways that can help with mental and physical wellness on a regular basis. Getting out into the outdoors and the feeling of togetherness is what we've been trying to achieve. Mia Elias, Team UOP Exec welfare officer said “I’m so happy to be at the first Varsity without any restrictions since 2019, an excellent achievement for the University. Varsity is a wonderful opportunity for students who love to compete in their sport or those who like to come together with friends to get out and about to watch sports fixtures. It’s been excellent to see the pride in students representing their sport and Portsmouth this weekend. Varsity allows for both competitors and spectators to have an escape from the stresses of their day to day lives, in some cases, out in the fresh air. This weekend positively impacts student well-being and allows all to be active in a fantastic positive event.”

I’m so happy to be at the first Varsity without any restrictions since 2019, an excellent achievement for the University. Varsity is a wonderful opportunity for students who love to compete in their sport or those who like to come together with friends to get out and about to watch sports fixtures. It’s been excellent to see the pride in students representing their sport and Portsmouth this weekend. Varsity allows for both competitors and spectators to have an escape from the stresses of their day to day lives, in some cases, out in the fresh air. This weekend positively impacts student well-being and allows all to be active in a fantastic positive event.

Mia Elias, Welfare Officer, Team UOP Exec

The atmosphere was electric throughout the weekend and the support shown to Team UOP clubs can only be applauded. The scale of support for all student clubs to one another was so nice to see and goes a long way to showing what Team UOP is about. Supporting others and celebrating in success and defeat.

I am so pleased that we could bring Varsity to home turf and deliver a wonderful event on such a big scale. We know how important it is to celebrate all that our Team UOP sports clubs can offer to our students, and Varsity is a prime example of celebrating the positive impact that sport can have on the student experience. Thank you to all of our staff who have worked tirelessly to plan and deliver the event, and thank you to our Team UOP student community for competing, celebrating together and for being Proud to be Portsmouth. Student experience is at the forefront of what we do in Sport and Recreation; after 2 years of our events being on hold, it's so exciting to be back and planning future events for Team UOP.

Zoe Monk, Sport Development Officer (Student Experience), Varsity project Manager

Were you a spectator at Varsity and want to get involved in sports club activity? We have Play sessions that are free for members throughout the week.