Varsity Cup 2013 Posted on February 8, 2013 by Jason Slack By Charlie Price When it was announced in December that Portsmouth would be hosting Varsity for the first time since its inception five years ago, there was shock among almost all students and committee members at the University. But why was there such surprise? I think that the most important question that has to be asked is why it has never been here before? Cat Redding, the VP of sports this year, when asked how she persuaded Southampton to allow us the host the event said, ‘Why not Portsmouth?’ And this is a query that has been on my lips throughout my time here. Southampton have monopolised the Cup, which takes place every year, in both hosting and winning it. But no-one has ever really challenged why it is always held in Southampton. It is thought that the facilities our neighbouring University has are greater than ours, but I beg to differ. Most other university Varsity venues are alternated yearly between the two locations, and it’s not as if Portsmouth has never hosted a Varsity competition before, we have – when our match-up was with Chichester. When you look at the facilities we have in Portsmouth, it is fairly peculiar that we have never hosted an event with Southampton before. Let’s just take a look at the facilities we do have; there are four football pitches, and with only two or three matches actually taking part in the Varsity Cup, surely that’s enough, there is a full size astro pitch which is used every week for hockey. The tennis center on Burnaby Road is one of the best in the South and the Spinnaker sports hall is more than adequate for indoor sports such as dodge ball and volleyball. However, the fact that the HMS Temeraire facilities are being upgraded and a partnership has been made between the University and the Navy means that state of the art facilities will be used on the day. The location of these pitches and courts is perfect for an event like Varsity. They are all right in the middle of the city, close to one another and have an outstanding view of Portsmouth’s two biggest buildings. My hope is that the University will be able to continue using these facilities in the future and that the partnership between us and the Navy will be a fruitful one. Let’s face it trekking down to Langstone each week is a tad tedious. I believe that now we finally have a chance to show Southampton how a Varsity Cup should be hosted, it will not take another five years to get it back to Portsmouth. And who knows, maybe home advantage, with the crowd behind our boys and girls, will lead to us keeping the trophy in the city this time.