UWE vs. Bristol Varsity - one of the biggest sporting events in the south west - is coming


Starting on 16 March, the city of Bristol will play host to one of the biggest annual sporting events in the south west: the Unite Students Varsity Series between University of the West of England (UWE) and University of Bristol.

The Varsity Series will see nearly 2,000 students and over 100 teams compete across dozens of sports and activities, including two events at Ashton Gate Stadium, the home of Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby, for the series-closing Rugby Union and Football fixtures.

In the year where Bristol has been recognised as the European City of Sport, the Varsity Series brings a festival of elite competition for everyone in the city to enjoy.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “The Varsity series will be an important event during our year as European City of Sport.

“As well as providing entertaining contests for everyone to enjoy, Varsity also raises vital funds for local charities.

“I would encourage everyone to head along and catch some of the events and enjoy some top class sport. Then, if you are feeling inspired, there are many opportunities to get involved in sport around the city, including trying out a new activity with one of Bristol’s many and varied sporting clubs.”

For the first time, the series will launch with Ignit10n, a fundraising event with athletes taking on endurance challenges to raise money for Above & Beyond (hospitals and hospice care in Bristol).

In the last five years the Varsity Series has raised in excess of £50,000 for local charities and each Students’ Union.

This year’s Varsity Series will also be the first run in association with Bristol-headquartered Unite Students, the UK’s largest student accommodation provider, who are the main sponsor of the event.

Serena Smith, VP of Sport and Health at The Students’ Union at UWE, said:

“Throughout my time at University, the Varsity Series was always the most exciting event of the year so getting to be a part of the biggest series yet has been an amazing experience.

“This year, Varsity has more prestigious venues, more events and more participants than ever. UWE Clubs have done some fantastic work and are more ready than ever to compete and challenge University of Bristol for the Varsity trophy.

“The preparations and hard work have started and our athletes are counting down the days until the Varsity launch!”

John House, Sport and Student Development Officer at the University of Bristol Students’ Union said:

“Last year Varsity saw 5,000 students and members of the community come together to support athletes from the University of Bristol and UWE. I'm delighted to say that this year Varsity is set to be even bigger, with larger venues, more events and most importantly - more students taking part.

“I'm a firm believer that our University has some of the most remarkable, committed and generally brilliant athletes you could wish to find and I'm really excited that they have the opportunity to show off their talents and abilities on a number of stages.

“Bristol are defending champions this year, and we will be giving everything we've got to hold on to that trophy!”

Speaking about their support for the Varsity Series, Richard Brenner, South West Area Manager for Unite Students, said: “We are really pleased to be involved in this great programme of events that has the potential to bring students and members of the community together, while raising funds for some really important causes.”

A brief history of the UWE vs. Bristol Varsity Series

The series began in 1995, when Bristol first challenged UWE to a Boat Race in the Bristol Docks. Since then, Varsity has grown to include nearly 2,000 athletes in over 100 teams.

This year’s Varsity Series will see the return of old showpieces; The Boat Race, rugby union, football and basketball; alongside newer additions like darts, lacrosse and American football, as well as a colour run which is open to everyone of all ages.

The central Varsity Day will see over 1,000 athletes competing in 27 sports from Athletics to Ultimate Frisbee - in what is unquestionably the South West’s biggest one day multi-sport event.

Tickets are available for these events now at: varsityseries.com


Notes to the editor

The Varsity Series
Each year students from the University of the West of England and University of Bristol go head to head over a series of sporting events, organised by the Students’ Unions of both Universities. Bristol Varsity Series brings the two universities and the community together to compete, raise money and awareness for charity. Our aim is to enable students to compete in their chosen activity against their closest rivals to raise money and awareness for a local charity whist promoting both universities' extracurricular activities on offer to the city of Bristol, in the name of fun, rivalry, friendship and sense of community.

The Students’ Union at UWE
The Students’ Union at UWE is a registered charity which exists to represent and support the needs of students, by representing the student voice to the University. As a 30,000 member strong Students’ Union we promote, defend and extend the rights of students. It is our responsibility to champion a strong student voice at UWE with a vision to initiate change and enhance the student experience.


The Students’ Union provides hundreds of opportunities to its members. We support over 150 different sports clubs and societies. Students could be jumping out of planes with SkyDive, giving American Football or Pole Fitness a go, or joining a cultural network to meet new people. We also support our students in community activity, voluntary work and fundraising.

We operate on three campuses in Bristol - Frenchay, Bower Ashton and Glenside.

To see the impact of the Students’ Union visit: thestudentsunion.co.uk/union/about/impactreport

Our VP of Sport and Health, Serena Smith, is available for interview. If you would like to speak to her, please contact our marketing team.


Helen McCulloch, Marketing Manager
Tel: 0117 328 4325
Email: Helen2.mcculloch@uwe.ac.uk

About Bristol Students’ Union Bristol SU exists so that all students have the best possible time while they are at Bristol. Led by students, we are central to the University experience and work to support all aspects of student life:
  • • We represent students views to the University through elected student officers and course reps.
  • • We support student development through over 250 sports clubs and societies (covering everything from international relations to Pokemon).We also provide volunteering and sustainability programmes and many other initiatives.
  • • We provide a buzzing social hub for students, in the Richmond Building and beyond....everything from club nights to debates and conferences.
  • • We provide quality services such as our lettings agency and our advice service, which are key to improving the lives of Bristol students.

    For details of all of our work please go to bristolsu.org.uk. You can also find us on twitter (@Bristol_SU) and facebook.

    Our Sport and Student Development Officer, John House, is available for interview. If you would like to speak to him, please contact our marketing team and ask them to put you in touch.


    Ed Thake-Adams, Marketing Manager
    Tel: 0117 331 8683

    About Unite Students
    Unite Students is the UK's largest and most established manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation. It provides a home for around 50,000 students, in more than 140 properties, across 28 leading university cities in England and Scotland. Unite works in partnership with more than 60 Higher Education institutions and also lets rooms directly to students. Founded in 1991 in Bristol, The Unite Group plc is a FTSE250 company, listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Two Universities, One City