Harry Tattersall Smith
Ominous weather forecasts had threatened to put a dampener on GUSA’s annual inter-faculty sports extravaganza, yet the glorious occasion was matched only by the gloriously unseasonal sunshine that flirted with Glasgow for the weekend before returning to its more characteristic grey. Speaking at the opening of the football tournament GUSA president Steven Flavahan claimed that the weekend looked to have seen over 450 competitors taking part in an event that has historically seen the Medical faculties fiercly battle it out with the Engineers for Glasgow University sporting sovereignty; and it was to be the the Vets and the Engineers who were to eventually be forced to share the spoils after a gruelling weekend of sport in perhaps the most unpredictable inter-faculty competition to date.
The weekend’s opening event was the highly anticipated netball which saw the hugely fancied Medics, a team spoilt for choice in regards to international talent, take a comfortable victory as they stormed to the title at somewhat of a canter. However anyone expecting something of a medical whitewash was to soon see any gland slam aspirations perish as they struggled in the volleyball. The volleyball and basketball saw intense levels of competition but were eventually won by the LBSS in a turn of events that seemed to highlight the topsy-turvy nature of the weekend as a whole.
In the hockey it was the Engineers who eventually prevailed, overcoming a resilient Dentists’ team in a heated final. The hockey at one stage had looked the most likely to succumb to the early morning frost but thankfully intense efforts from the Garscube ground staff saw the pitch deemed to be in a playable condition.
It was a final that was given added significance as news gradually trickled into the players that should the Engineers secure victory then they would joint champions for the tournament as a whole.
Tom Harley, GUSA property and Alumni Convenor, who helped manage the weekend and who played for the engineers claimed “when we heard that news it definitely made us push harder, but they didn’t make it easier for us.” Harley went on to speak about the weekend as a whole claiming: “It’s been a brilliant turn out, everyone has had a great time and had a good laugh and hopefully this will see more and more people getting involved in sport in Glasgow”.
These sentiments were echoed by Glasgow 2nd year Medic Iain Marshall. “I’ve played in both the hockey and the volleyball, and although we’ve not won either it’s been a great fun, and with weather like this you can’t ask for much more.”
On a weekend targeted heavily by GUSA to see all faculties competing there was one for the statisticians: the first ever Arts faculty side entered into the competition. On hearing this news the Arts football captain, Philip Hunter, claimed he was “shocked, surprised but ultimately proud. We are a really big faculty, perhaps too big, but hopefully this can really spur the arts community to galvanise itself and who knows, maybe lead to future cup glory!”
It was the football competition that saw the greatest turn out, with almost twenty teams and well over 100 players vying for soccer supremacy. For the footballing romantics the group stages saw the ominous power of the Vets take on the Arts minnows yet anyone hoping for a Hollywood ending were to be disappointed as the underdogs were clinically dismantled by a Vets side looking on course to capture the coveted crown. It was in this imperious form that the Vets eventually triumphed, through a talented squad that has obviously reaped the benefits of training together week-in, week-out.
Overall the weekend highlighted the student body of Glasgow’s enthusiasm for sport, which were sentiments re-iterated by organiser Stuart Rankin, “the weekend has been a great success, it’s been really hotly contested but it has also been played with great spirit.”