Something for everyone at Roses …?

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Last week, a lot of us attended or participated in Roses and so it seemed adept to reflect upon what people enjoyed and what may need to be added to Roses. Roses markets itself as having something for everyone: whether you enjoy clubbing, if you’re a huge sports fan, or if you prefer the performing arts. There are events for competitive gamers, quizzers and rugby players. A huge variety of people enjoy Roses, but is there more to be done to include those who may not have feel as welcome at Roses as they could be?

Our attention was focused across a variety of sports at the weekend – but what motivates what we chose to watch? Some people enjoy watching the physicality that Rugby presents, or they watch football because it’s the most popular sport in the country. There’s an additional trend in which people watch the sports that they participate in themselves. For the avid swimmers amongst you, its quite likely that you were glued to the side of a swimming pool for the weekend. And of course, sports in the public eye always attract additional attention: take the NBA playoffs which are currently on – this might have encouraged you to watch the basketball games.

Many people doubt whether playing video games can be deemed as a sport, but during Roses it certainly is. Both universities have active E-sports societies and will be competing on a variety of video games. If you wanted to support your university from the comfort of your own bedroom, Lancaster Uni streamed the whole competition on Twitch.tv. The addition of eSports adds an element of inclusivity to the Roses weekend – as if Roses was entirely based on traditional sports many would be isolated. Roses presents an oppurtunity for us to admire the intellectual prowess of the debaters, University Challengers and chess players. 

Those more inclined to the performing arts might have seen the dance, which is just as physically demanding as any of the other sports you might decided to watch. Depending on your taste in music, you may have watched ballroom dancing or cheerleading. All of these fixtures demand skill, hard work and training and their inclusion in Roses is well deserved, and shows that the weekend is inclusive where some traditional sporting events fail. 

But does this selection of sports go far enough? There are a very limited number of sports which are open to disabled athletes. Apart from sitting volleyball, which is still played mostly by able-bodied athletes, I couldn’t find any sports tailored to include disabled athletes. The events in the Paralympics and Winter Paralympics are some of the most stunning and impressive sports that I have seen, and their omission surprises me from Roses.

Additionally, there is more to the performing arts than dance: what about acting or stage performances? LUCI puts on a stand up comedy clash of sorts, but it isn’t a fixture and it isn’t worth any points. I wonder if this could work as a future event at Roses. 

What about the non-sporting ‘fixtures’ of Roses: for many the highlight of the weekend. For those feeling an after party or an excuse to drink, the various clubbing events would have had something for you. Shy Fx called the Junglist massive into attendance, on the other hand, Turn Up was perfect for the dancehall soldiers. From this, we can see which people might have been left out, in the sense that Roses would lack something that captures their interest.

The timetable doesn’t necessarily include something for the strictly musically inclined. For those who remember the 2016 Roses, for those who are familiar with DJ culture or genres such as Grime, Drum and Bass, reggae or jungle, the “Sound Clash” did not promise what was advertised. It was simply a back to back DJ set rather than an actual clash. I find it odd that a “Battle of the Bands” between the two universities doesn’t exist, or anything along those lines accommodating different genres of music.

Finally, what of those that don’t enjoy clubbing, or those that don’t want to disturb their exam revision timetables by wasting 4 hours sobering up after a big night out. It would seem that they don’t get an after party. A lot of Lancaster students might not get the chance to socialize with York students unless they are in Sugarhouse. So – it seems to me that Roses weekend is lacking a sober after ‘party’: some kind of wind down event to celebrate a victory or commiserate a defeat without waking up with a splitting headache.

Roses is about meeting new people, supporting your friends, healthy competition and discovering new things that you like and enjoy. And perhaps, most of all, getting away from the library – even if just for a few days. There’s only so much you can fit in a weekend, and I’ve suggested some ideas about what more could be squeezed in, but nonetheless the weekend was as enjoyable as ever. But now it’s time to return to battling your biggest rival yet- the exams.