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My shit week so far

Tom Fennelly contemplates sport, sexism and questionable university loyalty

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[caption id="attachment_122103" align="alignleft" width="300"]Image: Harriet Cheshire
Image: Harriet Cheshire

It was nice to take a step back from my usual full on involvement in running the coverage for Nouse as it allowed me to take in the aura of Europe's biggest varsity event as a whole, and to spot some of the more obscure and rather humorous antics that also occur.

My 'coverage' of the opening ceremony was far from serious journalism. I shouted a few things that I could never get published in this column and would even be scorned upon in a court of law. I even managed to get a series of Russell Group chants echoing around Central Hall at the expense of our opposition. Paupers.

Although, as my long-term Nouse colleague Jamie Summers pointed out, giving the Lancaster contingent the wanker sign throughout the bouts probably looked a tad more vindictive towards the university officials and big wigs sat in front of them. Although we were beyond caring after the fourth pint.

Amid the large amount of football I watched during the tournament, I can't say I saw a single card brandished (despite the final minute brawl that ensued after the Uni seconds match) until I watched both universities' second-best college sides battle it out very far away from the Roses spotlight.

It was during this game that a rugby league player was somehow booked. The player was only at the game to watch his housemate play and, when the referee asked, reluctantly took up the role of linesman. I politely had to remind him of the rules after he flagged for a player's foot touching the line, but after that it shouldn't have been too difficult for the lad to understand.

Apparently not. After failing to flag which way the throw-in should have been given, he got lip from someone. Not seeing who, he gave some strongly-worded lip back. The person who had given him that initial lip was the referee, who gave him a proper standing down. Safe to say, he won't be touching a flag any time soon.

Nevertheless, the rest of Roses was a huge success. We stuffed the Red Rose like never before, my housemate won his boxing match and the fireworks were shiny.

The only spate of bad news, strangely, came from the Roses promotion video. The video, which is a fantastic feat, received bad press from a one-sided article in The Tab where some of the cheerleaders complained that a shot that focused on the word 'York' written on their kit was actually focusing on their breasts.

Both The Tab and the complainants seemingly forgot that putting writing on clothing naturally draws people in to read them, so be careful where you position it, and that cheerleading itself is the most objectifying thing to happen to women since the corset. Or that Lancaster bloke who was in a vest with a megaphone at the water polo (if you do find him, please return him safely back to the 1980s).

The other papers aren't saying anything else more interesting really. In a slow news week, Vision have created a scandal out of the University spending money. Shock horror - the University invests in stuff. Not that I should ridicule; no doubt a similar story will be splashed across the front page of this paper when it's published.

It's also been in the news this week that Mark Warters, the councillor for Osbaldwick, still hates students. I used to live in Osbaldwick and students are few and far between, so much so that you don't notice them. Also, much to my surprise last summer, my landlord lived opposite, so clearly not all of his ward agree when they're making money from us. If he really wanted to put students off living there, maybe he should remind them that it is in the arse end of nowhere.

What have I got to look forward to? Another shit week of avoiding my dissertation. I do, however, have June Allen to look forward to.

To clarify, that is my mate's mum.

To clarify further, it's also the name of my six-a-side team, which you can follow live on Twitter @JuneAllenFC to see June coming from behind, working it up the passage and finishing between the posts.

I'm so sorry, June. Although with this sort of misogyny, I should have gone to Lancaster.

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5 Comment

Helen Posted on Saturday 22 Feb 2020

I thought the whole point of journalism is to research facts before they are published. Cheerleading is not an objectifying sport. Men and women both compete, pushing themselves and each other to improve. It needs strength, power, trust, flexibility, aggression and focus. The only part of the sport that is objectifying is the ignorant observers who think that all they do is wave 'Pom poms' and look pretty. Next time you print your opinions as if they are fact, actually look into the sport you're slandering.


June Posted on Saturday 22 Feb 2020



Anonymous Posted on Saturday 22 Feb 2020

If you'd come to watch the fixture between the York and Lancaster cheerleading teams at Roses you might be less ignorant about cheer. The club does not and has never existed to 'cheer on' other sports teams. We train 5+ hours a week and compete against other universities at competitions. We have 130+ members and about half of our teams are coed (mixed). Please explain to me what is misogynistic about this.


Anonymous Posted on Saturday 22 Feb 2020

Did you even read the Tab article? That's not what was said at all.


Anonymous Posted on Saturday 22 Feb 2020

If you had looked into the matter you would know that the issues cheerleading had with the video was that several hours were put into arranging, choreographing and performing stunts specifically for the video. To then be represented by a single shot is entirely dismissive and poorly represents both the team and the sport.


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