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Real war of the roses

white rose

8:09am 13th May 2011

Student athletes from York and Lancaster are gearing up for Europe's largest annual inter-university sports tournament, Roses 2011.

Taking its inspiration from the series of bloody civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster in the fifteenth century, the tournament will feature the two universities competing in over 25 different sports.

The Roses tournament is a festival of sport which is always greatly anticipated and enjoyed by students, alumni, guests and the wider York community  

Professor Brian Cantor York’s students are determined to recover the Carter James Cup, named after the two men who created the first tournament in 1965 – Lord James of York and Sir Charles Carter of Lancaster.

The weekend’s events from 13 to 15 May are co-ordinated and run by a dedicated committee of students.

Sam Asfahani, York Sport President, said:

“Roses is a unique experience, where the whole of the York community gets behind our student athletes. The weekend is geared towards spectators and designed to showcase the very best in university sport.”

The two teams will pit their skills in sports including rugby, hockey, tennis, archery, judo, clay pigeon shooting and even Frisbee throwing.

The boat races starting from near Lendal Bridge on the Saturday will provide one of the highlights of the tournament, with York residents being encouraged to cheer on the home team rowers along the route. And for the first time ever, a fixture will be hosted in a local stadium. A crowd of 2,500 is expected to attend the Rugby Men’s 1sts which will take place in the York City Knights ground, Huntington Stadium, on the Friday evening.

York residents will receive a warm welcome at all the sporting fixtures, with Roses 2011 being viewed as a key event for bringing the wider York community onto campus, furthering the University’s open campus ethos.    

Professor Brian Cantor, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, said:

“The Roses tournament is a festival of sport which is always greatly anticipated and enjoyed by students, alumni, guests and the wider York community. The event not only generates unforgettable memories for competitors and spectators, but strengthens and builds on links between these two great northern universities.”

Professor Cantor will be entering the sporting spirit with a friendly croquet match on the lawn outside Heslington Hall against the Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, Professor Paul Wellings.

The tournament has snow-balled since it began in 1965, with additional sports being added each year to widen participation. The winner of this year’s event will be announced at a spectacular closing ceremony in the University’s Central Hall on the Sunday, featuring music, pyrotechnics and performances from student societies.

For further information and tickets for the events – most of which are free – visit www.yusu.org/sport/roses. Tickets for the Rugby Men’s 1sts fixture, which cost £4.50 for standing and £5.50 for seated, are also available by visiting this site.

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