On 16 December 2016, eight coaches full of excited students left Glossop Road to take on The Alps. With hundreds of students from both Uni and Hallam, it was time to make an early start to this year’s Varsity, returning home just in time for Christmas eve. There’s a lot at stake with both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University seeking to win the Ashes to Alps Trophy, and those ever-valuable, first four Varsity points to set the tone for the entire competition.
Unfortunately, due to adverse weather conditions, there was a fear upon arrival that neither the Freestyle nor the Racing would be able to take place on the trip. The weather improved enough for the Freestyle to take place, but the Racing has been re-scheduled, meaing Varsity will visit Castleford for the second year running, where the remaining two snow sports points will be decided.
The weather did not, however, dampen the spirits of the spectators on the day. There was a great turnout of support ready to cheer on team Black and Gold. There was excitement amongst the crowd, and the atmosphere was everything that you would expect from the opening event of Varsity 2017.
The competition itself allowed both Universities to display some incredible talent. The four categories included Men’s and Women’s Ski, as well as Men’s and Women’s Snowboarding. There were then four qualifying students from each category between the two Universities.
The University of Sheffield were able to secure half a point for Women’s Snowboarding, with Hallam unable to provide a qualifying female. With the hlaf point already in the bag, we saw great performances from Rebecca Williams, Flo Brookes, Sarah Bunting and Emma Scott. It was great to see nine girls from Uni entering the competition to win us our first half point, a definite victory for #ThisGirlCan.
Next up there was Men’s Ski. With Alex Glasse, Liam Keyes and Liam Kirkby from Uni to compete. The highest score of the four competing went to Liam Keyes, who back-flipped his way to victory, earning another half point for the University of Sheffield!
Hallam Women’s Ski then re-claimed a half point for the former polytechnic despite Georgie Beer and Lucy Bradbury putting pressure on the Hallam girls, and doing a brilliant job of rallying the crowd.
The overall score was brought to one and a half points to a half, to Uni, with some impressive front and back flips from the Men’s Snowboarding. Daniel Saakyan secured the point, with Alex Tapply, Max Kroker and Oscar Lewis also displaying some great skill.
A massive thank you needs to be made to the Sheffski and SUSC committees who put on a brilliant week-long event. It was a huge success on and off the slopes, and brought home the first Varsity victory of the year!
Last of all, congratulations to everyone in Black and Gold who competed and supported in the snow! A great start to Varsity 2016/17 and a lot more to look forward to.
WE ARE BLACK AND GOLD!