The University of Sheffield are looking to make it six straight Varsity crowns as the opening ceremony takes place at Sheffield’s FlyDSA Arena tonight.

Ice Hockey – which has previously closed the sports competition between the University of Sheffield and Team Hallam – is this year’s curtain raiser after the Black and Golds stormed to a 45-35 overall victory in 2017.

The University of Sheffield enter tonight’s Ice Hockey 1s fixture 3-1 up after winning the snow sports leg of the competition, which was held in the French Alps in December.

Tickets for tonight’s match-up, which Team Hallam won 6-3 last year, sold out in just over six hours with each university given a 4,000 ticket allocation.

With the past five years swinging in favour of Black and Gold, the pressure is on yet again to bring the trophy home as this year’s final takes place at Hillsborough Stadium.

The Men’s 1s and Women’s 1s take to Sheffield Wednesday’s home turf on April 25 with around 14,000 tickets sold.

With 40.5 points needed to win the competition, Black and Gold will be anticipating another successful year after impressing in various BUCS matches throughout the season.

Today also sees the cycling cross-country compete, while April 13 sees equestrian grace the Hargate Hill Equestrian Centre, before a busy week of fixtures begin on April 18.

The day will see golf, climbing, football, ultimate frisbee, cricket, rugby league and rugby union contest points at Sheffield Hallam Sports Park, while a mixed Ice Hockey 2s match is the solitary fixture the following day.

Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium plays host to the athletics with two points up for grabs from 6pm onwards.

Goodwin Sports Centre is then field of play for hockey and lacrosse on Friday April 20 with sailing and rowing occupying Saturday’s slot at Dam Flask and Winscar.

Triathlon, trampolining, American football and dodgeball – a new fixture to the Varsity calendar – take place on Sunday April 22.

Monday sees the BMX cycling event take to Bolehills before EIS Sheffield gears up for a busy day of events.

Midday sees netball kick-off proceedings before table tennis, volleyball, basketball, futsal and wheelchair basketball – which isn’t worth a Varsity point – take to the venue.

As the week draws to a close, hockey will be played at Abbeydale on Tuesday, while squash and tennis are to be held at Hallamshire. Wednesday then sees cycling, korfball, swimming, canoe polo, water polo and badminton play their fixtures, before Wednesday’s football finals close the competition.

Photo credit: Dan West

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