Leeds Varsity is the annual inter-university sports series between arch rivals University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. It began in January with the cross country and culminated, as it does every year, with the Rugby Union finale held, this time, at Emerald Headingley Stadium on Wednesday 2 October, where over 10,000 students cheered on their teams from the stands.
It was a historic occasion for both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett women’s rugby union teams, as they played at Headingley Stadium for the first time. This has been something both universities have been keen to arrange for a number of years, so it was fantastic to see – especially as the University of Leeds team won 19-12.
University of Leeds club captain Ashley Ross had this to say: “The experience of playing our varsity match with such a huge crowd was incredible, and not one that any of us will forget! It’s a special honour, especially for a university team, and it’s especially significant for us as a women’s team as we often struggle to get the same status as men’s sport. It feels like a massive step forward for gender equality and women in sport – not just playing for our team but every other women’s team who hasn’t had the same opportunity as men. Thanks very much to everyone who came to support us!”
It was a historic occasion for both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett women’s rugby union teams, as they played at Headingley Stadium for the first time.
The men’s rugby union team unfortunately lost their game 25-16. However, they put on a brilliant, battling display they should be proud of.
Congratulations as well to all of the Sport & Physical Activity staff who ensured that all of the venues were ready for the huge numbers of fixtures staged on the final day of Varsity. Without their hard work, the competition wouldn’t be possible.