In the run-up to the start of the Roses tournament this week, SCAN has interviewed the AU President Gareth ‘Gav’ Coleman on his thoughts and hopes for the up-coming competition.
When I asked Gav to explain the enduring appeal of Roses, Gav eagerly clarified why the tournament is seen as the ‘jewel in the sporting calendar’. Not being the sportiest of students Gav explained to me that from the first week of the year teams will be playing and thinking about their performance in relation to their ability over this one weekend. To those not initiated into the ranks of a Uni sports team, the weekend offers you endless social delights, ranging from cheering on your mates, to celebrating wins and enjoying the overall energetic atmosphere. Gav did suggest that on the most basic of levels though, a resounding win during Roses gives a team the all-important and sought after ‘bragging rights’ over their Yorkist counterparts.
Looking towards Lancaster’s performance this year Gav indicated that he hoped to ‘reverse the recent trend of losses’, and indicated that this University had a good chance of winning the tournament this year. The AU President went on to explain his belief that the Sabb review earlier in the year had ‘galvanised’ the teams, meaning that Lancaster’s Athletics Union isn’t just a collection of different sports groups, but is now a unified University team, with similar goals and similar beliefs. On the issue of the rugby games, one of the tournaments main crowd pleasers, Gav admitted that it would be close, and that Lancaster would be entering the game as the ‘underdogs’. On the plus side Gav saw this as only to the good, as the rugby teams were eager to bring to York the fall that follows pride.
We talked to Gav about what he saw as being the most important aspects of Roses and how he would like to see the event develop. Gav explained that whilst the tournament was developing year on year, it is important that it maintains the values of sportsmanship which are central to the nature of Roses. He indicated that whilst good-natured rivalry are all part-and-parcel of a good sporting mentality, he had already had to recommend that some teams curb the nature of the banter with their opponents in York. Gav also voiced worries that by playing up the extraneous entertainment aspects of the event, as the York hosts are this year, that the sports at the core will suffer from less attention from the organisers. On a more positive note Gav said that he would love to see Roses get more national media attention, and that there was no reason it couldn’t be on a par with Oxbridge inter-varsity sports events.
If you are attending Roses this weekend you may well see Gav patrolling the campus, as he stated that he would like to try and support as many teams as possible. He will also be their to help smooth over any problems that arise, and he remarked that he has a good support group to help him fight Lancaster’s corner over any disputes that crop up, so that Lancaster does as well as it can.