The annual sporting event between The University of Plymouth and The University of St Mark & St John took place in March, with 18 matches over 10 different disciplines and hosting over 500 student athletes. University of Plymouth claimed the Varsity Championship for the seventh year in a row, defeating the city rivals 25-11. The competition raised a massive £14,325.05 which will be split between Plymouth Mind and Campaign Against Living Miserably, the charities were chosen by students from both institutions.
Plymouth Mind is a mental health charity, who provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Campaign Against Living Miserably is a leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. They run a free and confidential helpline and webchat – 7 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems.
Varsity is the biggest student sporting event in the city, with thousands of students either taking part or supporting, and the big rugby and football fixtures played at the home grounds of Plymouth Albion and Plymouth Argyle. This annual modern day Varsity event has grown over the last twelve years from a single rugby match between the two institutions to a weeklong competition with over 500 students competing in 10 different disciplines and to date has now raised over £150,000 in total for local and national charities.
Ben Morris, Vice President of Sport at UPSU, said:
“Varsity week is a fantastic way to finish off semester 2 of sport. This year we have had some amazing moments, from the Ladies Football winning the first ever Varsity to Men’s Lacrosse scoring with the last shot of the game. This year UPSU chose to raise money for Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), this charity is very current with students and something that is close to their hearts. On a personal level it was a pleasure for me to play in the final fixture of Varsity as well as being involved in the planning of the event. It’s great to see UPSU hold on to the championship for yet another year”
Lysette Archer and Jack Jones from the Lacrosse team at UPSU, said:
“It's fantastic to be part of not only a great sporting event, but that in doing so we have raised a significant amount of money for really worthwhile causes that will make a huge difference to peoples' lives.”
Achilleas Karagiannidis, Men's Basketball Captain at UPSU, said:
"Varsity is an event that gets everyone involved for a good cause."