This spring, UWE Bristol and Bristol University will join forces to host this year’s Bristol Varsity Series. Organised by both universities, The Students’ Union at UWE and Bristol SU, this year’s series aims to be the biggest Varsity event in Europe, with over 5,000 students, staff, alumni and the local community coming together to participate, volunteer or spectate at a range of exciting events.
The series, which starts on 22 March, will see students from both universities go head to head in a variety of sporting challenges, from Basketball to Lacrosse to the Boat Race. This year, there will also be a focus on participation and community integration with the series teaming up with major events, such as the Tour De Bristol on 6 April and the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k on 5 May.
Jade Marsella, Vice President of Sports and Health at The Students’ Union at UWE, commented: “I am so proud to be working on this year’s Varsity Series. Whether you are part of a sports team, keen to improve your fitness, or just want to come and enjoy the atmosphere, there really is something for everyone!
“Varsity also helps UWE Bristol and the University of Bristol to showcase the extra-curricular activities on offer, as well as engaging more people in physical activity, which is beneficial to health and mental wellbeing.”
Ginny Troughton, Sport and Student Development Officer at Bristol SU, commented: “Varsity is a fantastic opportunity for students to showcase their sporting abilities in a competitive environment. What is special about our series is that we don't only concentrate on the top level of sport but we also integrate our social, intramural sport program into the series. This means that more of our respective student bodies can be part of Varsity, whether it be competing for university, halls, subject or society. I can't wait to watch our students take part!”
Other highlights of the series include the 5k on 24 March, which at six weeks prior to the Bristol 10k is the perfect warm up and is free to all Bristol 10k participants.
There is also Varsity Day on 27 March, which will be the largest multi-sporting event hosted within the South West. With more than 1,800 athletes in over 200 teams, competing in 33 sports, it is sure to be a day for the diary.
The finale of the series will be the Ashfords LLP Boat Race held in Bristol’s Harbourside, one of the most iconic parts of the city. Traditionally a 1,300m course, this year will see a Boat Race with a difference, with a series of sprint races between UWE Boat Club and the University of Bristol Boat Club, including Men’s and Women’s Alumni races and the re-introduction of the Best of West, where local clubs and regional universities compete for the title.