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2017 Preview – we look ahead to a packed Varsity schedule

While the rest of the world are still eating their cold cuts of turkey, Cambridge’s sportsmen and women are gearing up for their most intensive term of sporting competition. That is because Lent Term is Varsity term – over half of the traditional fixtures against Oxford will take place in a few short weeks between February and March, and this year, most will be hosted in Cambridge.

These are rivalries that are renewed every year, because every year there is something to play for. For many, this will be either the crowning glory or the most crushing disappointment of their sporting life; for all, it is a chance to represent their University against its oldest foe.

Four sports played before Christmas, and returned split results: there were wins for the Men’s Cross Country team, the Men’s Skiing squad and the Men's Rugby team broke their 6 year losing streak by winning 23-18. But neither the Women’s Rugby XV nor the Women’s Cross Country squad could repeat last year’s successes. Oxford took both the Men’s and Women’s 1sts Skiing titles, but were defeated in the 2nds and Men’s 3rds matches; and Cambridge tacked on a Gliding win, for good measure.

The stage is intriguingly set. Term really heats up on the 18th and 19th of February, when the Volleyball, Powerlifting, Ultimate Frisbee, Taekwondo and Table Tennis clubs all will play their Varsity matches here at the Sports Centre, while if you fancy a trip to London or Birmingham, you can see Cambridge compete in Squash, Rugby Fives and Cheerleading.

The following weekend is just as busy: Korfball, Netball and Basketball visit the Sports Centre, the Lacrosse teams play at St John’s, while the Swimming and Water Polo clubs compete at Parkside Pools. The following day, the Trampoline squad will be visiting Oxford for their fixture.

Speedy cycling will be required on Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th of March, if you want to catch Badminton, Handball and Judo at the Sports Centre, Fencing at the Guildhall and Pistol at the Elizabeth Way Range. Or you could take a trip to Peterborough to see the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey teams, or to Eton to see the Duathlon and the Eton Fives. Boxing and Aussie Rules will contest their matches during the weekend of the 10th (both in Cambridge), while the Hockey Club's hotly-contested fixtures will be played on the 12th at Southgate Hockey Centre in London. The Easter holidays sees derby action for the Golf Club, the Orienteering Club, and of course, the Boat Clubs on the Tideway in London.

All of us at the Sports Service are looking forward to a term filled with the best in sporting action, and we hope you are too. Varsity day is the best day of the year to see a sport played – so whether you are a student interested in taking up a new sport, an alumnus wanting to reconnect with your old club, or just someone that wants to spend an afternoon soaking up the atmosphere of England’s oldest sporting rivalry, there will be a fixture for you. You can contact us for more information on the above, or you can message the club involved for full details of the day’s events. Don’t miss out – and let’s go Light Blue!