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On Thursday Week 3, Lancaster’s sports teams’ captains and presidents came together for the official launch of Roses 2016. The evening featured talks from Vice-Chancellor Mark E. Smith and LUSU Vice President (Activities) Natalie Sutcliffe among others.
Sutcliffe revealed that Women’s Football will be the match to kick off Roses 2016, which will run from April 29th to May 1st. There will be a special focus on the This Lancs Girl Can campaign, and the Saturday of Roses will be dedicated to female fixtures. Captain of Women’s Football, Natasha Dunn told SCAN:
‘The whole club were so excited when they found out the news! It was great to see everyone get behind it as much as Monica (the President) and I had hoped they would. It’s an amazing thing not just for the squad of 16 that will be playing the opening fixture, but LUWFC as a club. We’re honoured to be given the opportunity and we can’t wait to start working hard to make sure we get the result on the night and get Lancaster off to a winning start!’
Vice-Chancellor Mark E. Smith confessed himself as a ‘sports nut’, and conveyed his wild enthusiasm in anticipation of the upcoming event. He revealed that, like in 2014, a 1000-seater stadium will be erected on the pitches by the sports centre, ensuring everyone can get a great view of the opening ceremony and events over the weekend. In addition, spectator seats will be provided in the sports hall for the first time, which will make for a much better view of the indoor sports.
Another change this year comes in the form of an official code of conduct. At the launch evening, Sutcliffe unveiled the Respect the Rose Pledge, which all sports captains must sign before the weekend. This new focus encourages respect and a friendly welcoming attitude between opposing teams, meaning Roses can continue to be fair as well as competitive. This applies to everyone from competitors to spectators. Smith said that this is ‘the true test of sportsmanship’.
For those who have not witnessed a home Roses competition yet, it is sure to be one of the highlights of your time at Lancaster. Roses is the largest sporting Inter-Varsity in Europe, in which Lancaster and York battle it out for ultimate glory. Last year, York claimed the title over the weekend of 50 sports and 132 fixtures. This year, the competition’s 52nd year, is sure to be bigger and better than ever. And once again on home turf, we have a very good chance of success.