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Varsity returns to SOAS

By Sophie Bennett, BA Development Studies

It’s that time of year again; the SOAS Warriors take on the Sea of Red, London Met. In a battle of over 20 games across 11 sports SOAS will showcase its best athletes in a bid to take this years title. Games will take place between the 26th and 28th February across 5 different locations. Follow our social media ‘SOAS Sports’ on Facebook and Instagram to be kept in the loop about timings and locations for all games as well as live updates, videos and results throughout the event.

2018 is the second year of this long sought after tradition at SOAS and as such we are still in the building process of what we hope to leave as a distinguished legacy. Fundamental to this process is getting as many people involved in varsity matches as possible – whether you have been part of the team or are yet to be involved. So, if uni work got the better of you in term 1, or you didn’t know we had a mixed volleyball team, 2 sensational netball teams or 3 men’s football teams to name a few, now is your chance to get involved.

If playing is not your thing, varsity is still for you with plenty of spectating and parties to get involved with! SOAS will once again be hosting the infamous varsity warm-up party at a secret location (TBA) on Wednesday 21st February with a range of home-grown SOAS DJs brushing off the cobwebs of reading week and getting us pumped up and ready for the games to come.

Once we’ve got you in the spirit of varsity we want you to sport your finest yellow and black and get down to one of the many nail-biting games. Highlights from last year include an unbelievably close women’s basketball final, a fiery women’s football 2-1 win and an unforgettable netball match. Will our undefeated netball team keep their title after varsity? Our teams have been training tirelessly since September to compete in the LUSL and BUCS leagues and this our time to show them support and show London Met whose boss in North London!

Following the basketball finale, London Met will be hosting the Varsity Closing Party at their students union – a good time to celebrate our win! Finally, we are looking for a ‘spirit coach’ for the event – we need someone loud and ready to lead supporters through cheers and chants to support the warriors! (Yes, you will be given a megaphone!)  If you think you can make varsity even better and want to get involved, drop us an email an [email protected] !

When a presidential candidate can dismiss the remark “grab her by the pussy” as simple ‘locker room talk’ and then be elected, we have a problem. When many sport stars fear people finding out that they identify as anything other than heterosexual until many years after retirement, we have a problem. When you search “sports and sexual assault” and get 49 million news articles from 2017 alone (Google), we have a problem. The English Football League has taken steps to tackle this problem by providing sessions on sexual consent to all the 72 clubs it is responsible for, in order to “really narrow down that grey area between consent and non-consent”. It is in the same spirit that SOAS decided to introduce compulsory consent workshops for all SOAS Sports Team members.

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