Do Freshers Understand the Importance of Varsity?

Photo courtesy of Canterbury Varsity

What does Varsity mean to you? When faced with this question many Freshers look wide eyed and afraid. Not wanting to meet my eyes because they have no answer. To them, varsity means nothing. To those who are yet to experience the sporting myth that is Varsity, the game is simply an event that club seniors talk excitedly about and train them for.

At times even Freshers lucky enough to be included in Varsity squads seem relatively unenthusiastic. When speaking with one fresher, she commented that wasn’t excited about playing in Varsity. Instead she wanted an opportunity to experience her first Varsity as a spectator and truly understand what it means to her fellow students.

Freshers know that Varsity is important to older students but, is it important to them? When you ask seniors the same question, the answers are detailed, with the excitement and nerves visible on their faces.

Ben Lockwood from Men's Lacrosse thinks that “Varsity is definitely a chance to celebrate all of the great sporting talent that the university has to offer” and he feels privileged to have the opportunity to represent both his club and the university.

When asked Lauren Perkin, women’s cricket captain, says that Varsity means “everything” to her and is “the chance to demonstrate the passion you have for a particular sport and enjoy playing or watching.”

In cricket, varsity is a much more important than BUCs, and according to 1s Captain, Tom Wroot - Christchurch has always been a strong cricket side which only intensifies the rivalry and desire to win.

Even going behind enemy lines to Christchurch, the answer is very similar. The former social secretary of Christchurch Snow Sports says “Freshers understand the importance of Varsity, as it is one of the biggest sporting events for any Christchurch team. However, unless involved in a sport, I do not believe it has such a big meaning, fresher”.

When asked if freshers understand the importance of Varsity, most seniors answer in a similar way. Lauren Perkin puts it perfectly; “Until you have experienced it, I think it is hard to fully understand how much playing our best and winning means to us. That is why it is so important that freshers get stuck in and seniors show them how much we value the sport, each other and Varsity”.

Tom Wroot adds that “the importance of Varsity has always been ingrained into every member of the club and with Varsity less than a week away, this inclusion and encouragement has never been more apparent.”

Lucy Hebden makes the point that Varsity means more to students, the older they get. She admits that her enthusiasm for Varsity was not as prevalent during her first year. Yet now, she tries to inspire the same passion for Varsity in freshers that she has now.

Ben Lockwood suggests that freshers who have already played in or watched matches against Christchurch - especially those that we have won - will be aware of the importance of the rivalry and ready to beat Christchurch when Varsity kicks off! It seems that freshers understand that Varsity is important to their clubs but not to them personally.

With Varsity fast approaching, we at inquire have no doubt that freshers will soon understand the thrill of Varsity for themselves. Next year we are sure that the uncertainties felt by freshers this year will turn into enthusiasm and excitement to be passed on to the next generation of Varsity athletes.

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