Image Credit: RosesLive.co.uk
The York Sport Union have announced that a ‘Virtual Roses 2020’ tournament will replace the usual competition this year.
Due to the widespread implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities across the country and indeed the world have remained shut after their Easter breaks, following government advice.
Roses has been contested annually by the University of York and Lancaster University since its inception in 1965. This is the first year in which it won’t take place physically in its 55-year history.
York Sport Union President, Maddi Cannell, hinted at the prospect of a virtual Roses last week, asking individual clubs’ committees to “check their inboxes for an email about [a] potential Virtual Roses activity,” in a Tweet on 15 April.
Today (20 April), Cannell announced on Twitter that ‘Virtual Roses 2020’ would take place across the weekend of the 1, 2 and 3 May. A JustGiving page has already been set up for people, either participating or simply sponsoring, to donate to. On the page, the Union detailed how it intended the competition to work.
“The COVID-19 pandemic meant that we sadly had to cancel Roses 2020, moving the event online,” it started. “We want to use our platform to raise awareness of Charities who are facing significant financial issues as a result of COVID-19.
“York Sport Union have chosen to fundraise for Age UK and Cancer Research UK. However, our page will allow our clubs to set up their own fundraisers to donate to other charities, should they wish. We encourage clubs to research charities that will be hard-hit by the pandemic and consider fundraising for them.
“We will be fundraising before, during, and after the weekend to raise as much as possible. This is a great opportunity for us all to make a positive difference to charities that do fantastic work supporting the nation.
“Maddi [Cannell], York Sport Union Present, will be aiming to complete The Three Peaks in three days on her staircase...”
In a live address video she uploaded to Twitter, Cannell said the aim was to “fundraise as much money as possible,” helping “to support the organisations supporting us on a daily basis.” Cannell herself went on to outline her own personal fundraising plan — she intends to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden, or their combined heights at least, all using simply her own staircase at home to raise money for the two charities outlined above.
Those that wish to take part can do so by visiting the Union's Just Giving page, where donations can be made and all relevant information can be found readily available.
Cannell finally added that “there are no limits to the charities you can choose to fundraise for.”
In just its first few hours of being live, the JustGiving page had already reached a total of £50 in donations, but a big push will be needed in order to meet the provisional target of £1000.