Circles, Purple and Varsity: Freshers’ guide to sport at Warwick

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you’re anything like I was as a young, innocent Fresher still within his second decade, there are three important words associated with Sport at Warwick that you think you know the meaning of, but which people will begin to use in a way that confuses the fudge out of you.

Many people are resistant to joining a sport at Warwick because of the inherent drinking culture that goes hand in hand with participation.

Purple: Warwick’s signature beverage. You’ll most likely be sick of the sight of it by the end of Term 1.

  1. Circling – Sounds sinisterly like the velociraptor scene in any of the Jurassic Park films, and does include groups talking a strange language and ganging up on the weakest members in an attempt to pick them off, but actually means playing drinking games with your team mates in a circle. 
  2. Purple – Dirt cheap drink consisting of beer, cider and blackcurrant squash similar to a Snakebite, but with a more Tinky-Winky and less poisonous sounding name. (Note: This does not guarantee that it will not poison you in the quantities you may be expected to down it.)
  3. Varsity – A term used a lot in 90’s American college teen movies without much explanation as to what it is, but usually refers to the team that represents the university. Here, however, it signifies the epic annual sporting event against our bitter rivals, Coventry University.

Varsity Front Page

Varsity is the most significant of these terms as it signifies the biggest two weeks in the Warwick Sporting calendar as the Bears (Us – Woop Woop) take on the Magenta Army (Them – Boo) in a series of matches across the sporting spectrum in exchange for points. And as you’ve probably guessed, the university with the most points at the end of the games wins.

This is the time of year when the entire university comes together to celebrate the great sporting history and culture that are associated with Warwick. The basketball at the beginning and ice hockey of the climax draw the biggest crowds for obvious reasons, but there are hundreds of opportunities to get involved and cheer your team on, even if you’re not competing. Warwick TV, RaW (Radio at Warwick) and ourselves also offer some excellent student media coverage, so there’s always a way to enjoy the action.

In our unbiased opinion of our own section and the quality of our writers, the Varsity special pull-out of The Boar is one of the best paper of the year, as we make it a point of personal pride to do all we can to make the pull out even better than in years gone by. Earlier this year for the 25th Anniversary of Varsity, for example, Boar Sport (spearheaded by legendary editor, Luke Brown) produced a 20 page special featuring coverage of every single match that took place. Shingi and I will hope to improve on that in any way we can and are always looking for enthusiastic writers, so Varsity is also a great opportunity to get your name in print and test your skills on a sport you may not be familiar with.


Warwick may never have lost a Varsity series in 25 times of asking (it’s the Equestrian that usually swings it, in my opinion) but it’s not really about the points or the accolades. Sure, getting one over on Coventry is nice, but in a University so refreshingly diverse in student opinion that makes for some fascinating debates, sometimes it’s nice to all be pulling in the same direction. Though some will say it has its problems at all other times of year, everyone can be proud of Warwick during Varsity.


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