My experience of Roses 2022

by Catherine Brabin

As another Roses comes to an end, I thought now would be the perfect time to reflect on my first experience of the event!

Roses refers to the annual varsity sporting competition between Lancaster and York, where teams from each university compete against each other to score points to win the title. Some matches were held throughout the week, but the main event took place from Friday 29 April to Sunday 1 May.

Once again, Roses are red, as Lancaster smashed it with an incredible 241 points to York's 102. This brings the overall wins to 27 for Lancaster and 28 for York - one more win for Lancaster next year and the universities will be even-stevens!

Students meet to support Lancaster

We’ve had some great weather… until the day when I took my pictures!

How has Roses transformed campus?

This has been the first Roses since 2019, which means it’s my first experience of it despite being in my final year. Lancaster hosted this year, and it’s been fantastic to witness the buzz on-campus and throughout town which I’ve heard so much about in person.

We’ve had some great weather…of course until the last day when I took my pictures – typical! But it’s been great to head to campus in the sunshine surrounded by people on their way to support their friends and fellow Lancaster students.

The space outside the Sports Centre was transformed into its own little marketplace, with stands selling confectionaries, classic fairground-style doughnuts, and Chinese and Greek street food to name a few.

A marquee was set up for spectators to sit or eat under shelter, whilst watching the games being live-streamed onto screens. A stage was also built, where commentary and various live performances echoed out across campus to keep everyone updated and in the loop! I enjoyed hearing the scores as I walked by to catch the bus and the Acapella Society’s showcase on Saturday in particular.

Large screens allow people to spectate across campus

The events

Interestingly for me, one of my housemates is one of the Lancaster Swimming Society captains, which of course made the Roses swimming event a particularly big deal! Me and my household went to show both Reece and the whole team our support on Saturday, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Lancaster won for the first time in over five years, which was of course a huge triumph and cause for celebration for the team – and a great moment for me to feel a part of!

Watching a swimming competition

Cheering on Reece and the rest of the swimming team

As a Theatre student, I also have a few friends in LUDanS and couldn’t wait to see them compete in the Show Court. Lancaster won in every category bar Street Dance, but regardless, the dancers from both universities were absolutely brilliant and the crowds watching were huge!

It was lovely to feel such a sense of comradery and allegiance with my university, and be there to see my friend’s final performances of dances they have been working on all year. I especially enjoyed the Advanced Jazz piece to Blue Monday, the Intermediate Lyrical, and the Advanced Street.

Two photos of the dancing teams in the competition

The dancing teams perform their routines

My friend Catherine also travelled all the way back from Belgium to compete in the Fencing tournament – Lancaster only lost by one point to York! Of course, I couldn't resist including some images she took on the day:

The fencing team celebrates a victory

Final words

Although I only went to a couple of events, many people in Lancaster treat Roses as a weekend of heading to campus to catch as much of the action as possible – and heading to town to celebrate as much as they can!

I thoroughly enjoyed my first and last experience of Roses and I would encourage anyone who has never attended before to get involved at the next opportunity. It was great to feel such a sense of community spirit and to see so many students out and about soaking in the sun and cheering on our teams.

The competition will be held in York next year, but I have no doubt that 2024 will see another Red Wash on home turf.