VarsityFest: Headline and Showcase

VarsityFest 2019 is nearly upon us and this is your chance to let us know who you think deserves the title of Headline and Showcase matches!

The Headline and Showcase events are stand-alone matches aimed at enhancing the focus and crowd for the chosen sport. The winner of the vote will be titled Headline and the runner-up Showcase.

Make sure you vote for the team you believe is most deserving in the VarsityFest poll!

  • IC Netball v ICSM Netball (1st Team)
  • IC Rugby v ICSM Rugby (1st Team)
  • IC Football v ICSM Football (1st Team) 


See below for their event applications as to why they deserve your vote:

Netball 1st Teams

Netball always attracts a huge crowd for Varsity and there are so many reasons why. Firstly, because both clubs have 5 teams meaning there is a big build up to the final game, which is almost always the deciding game for the sport - this only adds to the excitement of the game.  Also due to this, it means people are able to watch a netball match throughout the day even if waiting for another event to start. The final game between the 1st teams is always a close match (last year the final game ended with a goal difference of only 1 goal between the teams!) so it is always an intense and exhilarating game to watch. Additionally, it is easy to get involved with as a spectator since you can feel the intensity of the game due to the size of the court, creating an amazing atmosphere, unlike some of the larger sports such as football or rugby that can lose your attention. Equally, it is a fast paced game where constant goals are scored therefore excitement is maintained throughout, but it is also a game with simple rules meaning anyone can watch and enjoy it. If netball headline there is guaranteed to be a huge number of spectators due to the above reasons.  

In previous years netball has always attracted large crowds from early on in the day. This could be due to both clubs being two of the biggest clubs in the university and so having a huge supporter network, but is also is likely to be due to the reason discussed above. Therefore, netball is one of the only sports that is likely to have the majority of its club members feeling included as part of the sport being the Headline act rather than just the 1st team. 

In terms of practicalities, netball is an easy sport to set up. Each game only requires a court and the two posts. With it being on a relatively small court it is easy for all spectators to see the whole game no matter where they are positioned. Ideally, as headliners it would be great to have stands which would contribute to the safety of the match as therefore spectators would be placed slightly back from the court itself. Otherwise, it may be necessary to set up a perimeter to avoid a clash of both spectators and players. At Heston the stands would have to be on long side and one short side of the furthest court. In previous years the stands have been full even early on in the day and so we would need to look into slightly bigger/high stand such as those used for the football two years ago. Additional standing area would need to be made available on court 2 once the other games have finished. We suggest standing platforms that could be set up in the interim between the 2s match and the 1s headline match. 

Netball is currently growing its reputation in the nation, giving a larger representation to women in sport and it would be an amazing opportunity to let ICSM and ICU be ambassadors of the sport here at Imperial. With the Netball World Cup in July we feel there is no better year for netball to have a chance to headline or showcase Varsity.

Rugby 1st Teams

Rugby is a sport that stands for Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, and Sportsmanship, making it perfect for a headline event. These are core values of both ICURFC and IMRFC, and this is the perfect opportunity to showcase this. We strongly believe rugby should be the headline at varsity for the following reasons:

  • Spectacle – Rugby is an excellent spectator sport, for all at VarsityFest to enjoy. As a headline event, the match will be able to create an atmosphere to rival that of Bottle Match and The City Varsity, creating the best VarsityFest experience for all. For those who don’t follow either football or rugby closely, rugby is the better spectator sport due to its intensity and physicality. Year on year, matches between our two clubs have generated an enjoyable setting whilst also showcasing the best rugby the university has to offer.
  • Sport engagement – Because of its history, Varsity carries a lot of weight with our clubs and is the highlight of many rugby player’s careers, generating a fierce competition and rivalry. And in its World Cup year, a successful Varsity fixture will be able to improve the image of the sport and will help with the sport's participation figures at Imperial over the coming years.
  • Competition – Varsity always gives a tight contest, this year more than ever as the teams sit in parallel leagues. A similar level of playing produces a high quality match that will be entertaining to watch and enjoyable for all involved, from spectators and staff through to all sports men and womenat Varsity.

Football 1st Teams 

Football is by far the most popular sport around the world and unites fans of all backgrounds. Football at Imperial conjures similar dedication, represented by the two most popular male-only clubs in their respective unions. We strongly believe that the vast support throughout university for the sport and the clubs, combined with the perfectly entertaining spectacle this match would be makes this proposed match an excellent candidate for this year's Exhibition Events. We would like to propose a 90-minute match, with a 15-minute half-time, followed by extra time and penalties if required between the IC 1s and Medics 1s. 

Heston sports ground is beloved and well-known by ICSMFC and despite the IC counterparts having had the upper hand there recently the fixture is always contested in an incredibly competitive way is something which is surely essential from an Exhibition Event. We are confident it already has the necessary facilities to easily host a football headline event, as has been shown in the past. A total of four pitches (including two very high quality) allow for efficient scheduling of the football matches in general, but also means the headline stage can be kept separate throughout the day to add to the independence of the headline event. A football headline event also brings very little extra cost as other requirements such as floodlights can already be found at Heston. 

Our previous headline events have been enjoyed by all with thrilling matches settled only in the dying minutes. Aside from potentially hockey, football offers the most competitive fixture as a headline as the teams are the most evenly matched of any sport participating at VarsityFest. This ensures an enjoyable event for all; IC, Medics and neutral supporters. The gripping 3-3 draw when the teams last met stands as further evidence that the event will be well worth watching. The rules of football are also much more widely understood and the nuances found in the rules of rugby/hockey etc. are absent. 

The headline event at VarsityFest is not for the players or the clubs participating, it is for the spectators. There is no financial incentive and very little recognition attached to headlining. To further engage spectators (in addition to a spectacular and entertaining display of football), we would like to suggest half-time entertainment. For example, this could be in the form of cross-bar challenge between IC and medic crowd members. Commentators represented by both IC and medics has been attempted before, but for this year we would like to consider a live broadcast to the crowd as well. 

Football has proven its popularity at Imperial VarsityFest over the last few years and for the reasons above, we believe that football should be included in the vote for the headline event to provide an excellent conclusion to a great day of sport. We strongly believe that, as has been the case in the past a Men's Football Exhibition would be a popular option for the wider audience of VarsityFest and is backed by exceptional support from ICUAFC and ICSMFC members.

Vote now for your Headline & Showcase matches!