Saturday, 15 October 2016

Varsity Ice Hockey 2016

Varsity is an awesome culture in itself. A week long event of sports that brings people together and promotes healthy competition between 'rivalling' Universities. The biggest and baddest event of this week is Ice Hockey. University chants all around you with a thrilling and fast paced game right in front of your eyes. Traditionally, it's an event that every Sheffield student must go to at least once before they graduate. This year, I had the opportunity to view this amazing game and had another accomplishment on my Sheffield bucket list.


Held at the Sheffield Arena, this year's Ice Hockey finals was attended by over 7000 students. For the second year running, the final event beat the record of highest attendance at a Varsity Ice Hockey match outside North America!

The easiest way to get there was to take a tram from the city centre and this journey proved an amazing trip in itself. As soon as we boarded the tram, a huge number of Hallam students stepped in, all dressed in Red and White. Us being a small number of uni-of students, dressed in Black and Gold, were a bit intimated at first but filled with pride from the overall Varsity win already in the bag, we sat upright beaming with confidence. The best part was when the chants began. Imagine 200 Hallam students chanting compared to 20 uni-of students shouting their hearts out. This is the best part of the varsity culture, a healthy rivalry between the 2 universities which ends with varsity and everyone goes back to being friends.


As we arrived in the Arena, me and my friends seated ourselves among the Black and Gold crowd and lucky us, we found some blow up sticks and posters. The game started off with the whistle and the first quarter was very tense with both the teams competing eagerly, however, Hallam scored the first goal within 3 minutes into the game. As the second period came in, the score was equalised to 3-3 by the efforts of both sides, however, Hallam scored their final goal in the final period, crushing our hopes. They reclaimed their title of 'Undefeated Varsity Ice Hockey Champions', once again.


At the end of the game, our sports officer was presented with the coveted Varsity trophy and we were all elated with joy. The match proved to be one of my best experiences in Sheffield and although we lost the Ice Hockey finals, we won Varsity!


- Abhinav Kongari
International Office Ambassador for India




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