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Varsity 2012



The University of Kent scooped the honours as Athletic Team Champions of Canterbury at the first ever Athletics Varsity Match in Canterbury on the 1st May 2012. The inaugural event took place at Invicta East Kent AC’s track next to the Canterbury Academy in Knight Avenue. The event was also watched by Hazel McCabe, the Sheriff of Canterbury, with the trophies presented by Peter Hermitage, Pro Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University.

The teams entered came from Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Kent and Canterbury’s Invicta East Kent Athletic Club, who also hosted and organised the event. The competition was closely fought, and in the true spirit of athletics, friendly but fierce at the same time! IEK were missing some members of their squad who had opted to run at Watford the following day, and so could not compete. The Club also lost some members who ran for their Universities. However, it was still a strong team.

Many athletes competed in new events for the very first time. Competitors were persuaded to try other disciplines, like the Javelin, in order to gain at least a few points for their chosen teams. The view was taken by all, including the team captains, that some points were better than none. Invicta East Kent AC had provided UKA accredited track and field judges to ensure that all events were completed safely and to the required official rules and standards.

A number of athletes also achieved fantastic results, and even some of the seasoned competitors were able to claim personal best times and distances, spurred on by the roars of the crowd and fellow team mates.

The events ranged from the 100m up to 1500m on the track, and from Javelin to Long Jump in the field events, covering 11 events in total for both men and women. A lot of events to fit into one evening!

Barry Hopkins, spokesman for IEK commented, “Firstly, we should congratulate the University of Kent for their win. This was a fantastic evening of athletics. With the Olympics just a few months away it was great to kick-off everyone’s enthusiasm for our great sport. We were delighted with the attendance, although we were missing some members of our squad due to other race arrangements. The University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church both performed extremely well, with Kent scooping the prize of the night. We will certainly make sure that we have our full squad in attendance next year to try and prise the trophy away from the Universities. It’s a cliché, but it was the sport of Athletics that won the night. It was great to see so many events in one night, and together with the Open events for all-comers which also took place, we all had a brilliant evening.”

One of the spectacular moments of the night came when IEK did, as many national squads had done before, and dropped the baton in the 4x100m, although with a scratch team that have never run a relay together before.

The event is set to become an annual fixture, and three teams are already beginning to plan for next year.

Invicta East Kent AC holds regular Open Meetings for anyone, of all ages and abilities, to come and try athletics, with the next one scheduled for Wednesday 6th June starting at 6:00pm. All the races are seeded to make sure everyone gets a fair race.