Varsity in Swansea: For & Against

Against: Dan Heard

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but surely the Welsh Varsity is just that- not “the Swansea Varsity”? It’s contested every year between Cardiff University and Swansea University, and should be reflected as such in where it is hosted. It will be two years in a row now that Varsity has been held down in Swansea, with the University’s International Sports Village (or Sketty Lane, as everyone called it last year) being the location of events for sports such as football, tennis, American football and even water polo, with the boat race taking place on the River Tawe. The centrepiece of the whole day, the rugby, will once again be contested at the Liberty Stadium, home of the Ospreys. I still reminisce at the sight of that excellent 27-22 Cardiff victory (which was celebrated long into the night back in Y Plas, I can tell you…). I was part of the CUTV team that covered the day, reporting on a great football match, before donning my best suit and taking my place in the punditry box overlooking the pitch at the Liberty. Seeing the stadium fill with so many red and green shirts, and watching fans filter in and out of the various events, all offering great support, was amazing to see, even in the sweltering heat that saw a few of use suffer!

And, though I must say it was a fantastic experience, why are we having to go back to Swansea again this year? Surely, it should be held in Cardiff one year, and Swansea the next. Not to fly the flag for Cardiff a bit too much, but we do have the seventy four and-a-half thousand seater Millennium Stadium (sorry, Principality Millennium Stadium, like it’ll catch on) within sight of the Student’s Union and, importantly, the Student Media office where all the broadcasting equipment we could ever need is available, meaning we wouldn’t have to get up at stupid-o’clock and lug boxes and crates of microphones, cameras and miles of cables around all day. It would be better for the students supporting too, making use of the brilliant sporting facilities Cardiff have on offer (even if it does mean making the trek to Llanrumney for the football), before heading to the Millennium, the venue for historic Six Nations and Rugby World Cup victories, for the most important match in the University Sporting Calendar for the two sides. (Be honest, who wouldn’t want to play the biggest game of their University sporting careers where Sam Warburton lifted the Triple Crown in 2012?)

Though, the day in Swansea was one I’ll never forget, in order for it to justify being called The Welsh Varsity, a competition contested between Cardiff AND Swansea, then the host venues need to alternate accordingly. Admittedly, regardless of where it has been held, the end result has always been surprising and exciting, regardless of who wins. But, by having each University alternate year in, year out, that variety will only help to create lasting memories that we all want to experience. Roll on Cardiff 2017.

For: Kelsey Rees

There is much debate on whether or not the annual Welsh Varsity should be held in Swansea for a second consecutive year. In light of these debates, here are my reasons as to why I have nothing against the event being held at our opposing university this year. As a member of the Cardiff University Ladies Hockey Team, I play on our Astroturf pitch located in Taly North weekly. As familiar as I am with the field, I can honestly say that our pitch isn’t up to standard, and can be greatly improved. On the other hand, the Astroturf pitch located in Swansea’s Sports Village is a water-based, knitted nylon, all-weather pitch, considerably more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to play on. The pitch is also centred around a balcony view, a feature making it better and easier for spectators. Swansea University also have a much more up to standard athletics running track, as Cardiff University doesn’t even have one. When a track is needed, we have to shamefully borrow the facilities from other opposing university Cardiff Met! Therefore, in Swansea there is no need for any inconvenient travelling to this sports facility. One other very useful advantage of staging The Welsh Varsity in Swansea is the several on site facilities. Unlike in Cardiff, the nearest cashpoints and convenient stores for booze are located in the Swansea Students’ Union, at a very close proximity to the Sports Village. As University students, we should all understand the importance of this fact, as the nearest available place in Cardiff for such necessities would be the large Tesco supermarket located just outside of Talybont. A walk far too long to be expected of us typical students! For the Cardiff University goers, holding The Welsh Varsity at Swansea can be a lot more fun and enjoyable. You get to travel with your group of mates on a bus, singing songs and chanting crap about Swansea. The final rugby varsity match is held in the Liberty Stadium. Although this stadium is considerably smaller than Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, the size comes at an advantage as it creates a much better atmosphere. After the event, Cardiff students tend to stick around for a night out on Wind Street, a fresh and completely new scene for those who haven’t experienced a Swansea night out before. If you choose this option, you then get to enjoy a drunken train journey back with your mates, how is that not a good time? To conclude my argument, I will end on the most important note. The best thing about holding The Welsh Varsity at Swansea, is the fact that we get to humiliate them in competition on their own turf. Leaving them to feel ashamed at the fact that they once again lost to the all superior Cardiff University team on their home field.



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  • Don’t let they force you to go to Swansea. They don’t want you to be successful in Swansea. Cardiff is a major key. Be grateful and stick with Cardiff. They smart. They loyal. They appreciate you. When the day comes, enjoy your breakfast with your turkey sausage and drink that water. That’s a major key to success. Head down to the pitches, breathe in that glorious fresh air and drink that apple ciroc. Then you’ll know you stayed true to yourself. Remember, NEVER play yourself.
    Bless up to the most high.
    Peace x

  • Let’s not forget the Welsh Varsity was held in Cardiff for 3 years on the bounce prior to last year! Only fair that Swansea gets their shot!