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Pole Fitness was one of the earlier events of this year’s Roses, held in Derwent college amidst the bustling atmosphere of the wider event. It was well attended, and the atmosphere of the competition was warm, enthusiastic, and for both teams, extremely welcoming. The odds were stacked against Lancaster with York’s team being significantly larger than theirs, but both teams were well prepared to perform. The beginners competed first with York’s team showcasing a variety of styles and approaches to pole set to an eclectic collection of songs. Lancaster’s Zac Hall impressed in the first set of performances, standing out for having only started pole this year. Another standout of the first round was a performance from a student from York who in mid routine ripped a copy of Nouse, the York university paper, in two pieces. The following rounds continued to be dominated by York due to the larger number of competitors, but both Lancaster and York gave fantastic routines that were met with loud waves of applause from the audience. The event concluded with York taking the win, but with Lancaster’s team scoring highly in most if not all their performances. Lancaster was successful in securing the 1st and 2nd places in the advanced round but ultimately numbers were a key factor in this sport, and the win gave York 4 points towards their ultimate win at Roses. Key to pole fitness was the atmosphere of support, and an overarching sense of fun from the competitors, which was a standout of the competition, beyond the talent of the people competing.