Roses 2020 Cancelled In Light of Coronavirus Outbreak

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Roses sporting tournament of 2020 has been cancelled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. 

The annual competition between Lancaster University and the University of York was due to take place in Lancaster in the summer term. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has termed the coronavirus ‘the worst public health crisis for a generation.’ At the time of writing, over 50 people across the UK who have tested positive for the virus have died. 

This follows the decision to end classroom teaching throughout Lancaster University from Monday 16th March until the end of term on Friday 20th March. The Sugarhouse nightclub has also been closed for the immediate future. 

In a statement on their website, Lancaster University Students’ Union have said: 

It is with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of this years Roses event due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This joint decision by Lancaster University and the Students’ Union was taken very reluctantly, but we had no choice given the cancellation of other major sporting events, the ongoing public health situation and recent government advice, which is unlikely to improve in the immediate future.

We appreciate how disappointing this will be for students who were looking forward to the event, but our priority has to be the health and safety of those competing and the many spectators who will attend.

At this stage we cannot say whether the event will be rearranged, or what arrangements will be made with regard to the venue for next year’s event. We will have discussions with everyone involved and as soon as the situation becomes clearer, we will let everyone know.

Please also note that the decision has also been made to extend the activity suspension until at least the end of the Easter vacation but this situation is still subject to change and we are monitoring it very closely. If and when things change we will of course update you all ASAP.  

Please also be aware that majority of Students’ Union staff are now working from home as a precautionary measure so the best way to contact us is via As you can imagine we are handling a lot of queries at present and we will of course do our best to respond to everyone ASAP but your patience at this time is hugely appreciated.    

Lancaster University Students’ Union

In a statement on their website, University of York Students’ Union have said:

Lancaster University Students Union (LUSU) and Lancaster University have made the difficult decision to cancel Roses 2020.

In light of the developing Coronavirus situation and new government advice, YUSU fully supports the decision made by the host institution. The health and safety of all competitors, spectators, volunteers and staff is a shared priority.

We understand that many of you will be disappointed and that teams will have been planning for this event for some time. We ask that you please bear with us at this time as we make arrangements to cancel this year’s event, and in due course, look to begin plans for Roses 2021. As soon as further updates are available they will be shared on LUSU and YUSU channels.

University of York Students’ Union

Lancaster University when approached by SCAN for comment said:

Roses is such an important part of the Lancaster University year and we fully appreciate how disappointed students, staff and spectators from both York and Lancaster will be to hear that this year’s Roses event has had to be cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation.

Unfortunately, we felt we had no choice given recent Government public health advice on avoiding mass gatherings and several cancellations of high profile sports events. Our priority has to be the welfare of both competitors and spectators at Roses, which is why we took this decision jointly with the students’ union.

All of our events are being reviewed in light of government advice and at this stage we do not yet know when Roses will be rearranged or where it will take place, but we will inform everyone as soon as we know, following extensive discussions with everyone involved.

Lancaster University

This is an ongoing story.

Olivia Kenny

Hi! I'm Olivia (but everyone calls me Liv) and I'm the Associate Editor for SCAN for 2019-2020. I was previously the News Editor and have contributed to the section since the beginning of my first year. Now in my third year, SCAN is a huge part of my University life. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you!

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