Leeds Beckett claim victory in tennis, with extra preparation and funding providing them with the edge.
With 24 fixtures taking place in one day, consisting of men and women’s top three teams, it is safe to say the tennis at Varsity is one of the most competitive fixtures. With Beckett usually dominating, the University of Leeds were certainly underdogs heading into the day.
However, a win for 3rdteam member Gemma Trodd over her opponent showed whilst we may not have the facilities, we certainly have courage and spirit.
The tennis grounds in itself shows the funding that has gone into tennis at Beckett, with the players utilising four courts at once.
This marks a stark comparison to our facilities here, as the team train at a local gym.
When speaking to the operator of the tennis at Leeds Beckett, Steve Mcloughlin, he told us how his players have been pre-season training in Spain; adapting to the strenuous conditions. He claims his team are as ‘best prepared as possible’.
He also acknowledges the importance of varsity, stating ‘it is very significant as it is preparation for a tough BUCS campaign, whilst allowing myself to see how the new team members play in match conditions. Not only this, but it’s great to have the bragging rights.’
Whilst both teams certainly will view the fixture as one of the most important dates in the calendar, with Varsity occurring for 15 years now, perhaps the date being so early in the academic year is a hinder in regard to preparation, with the University of Leeds only having one training session beforehand.
However this is not to suggest we didn’t play well. Notably, double amputee George Blackshaw, who lost both his arm and leg in a lawn mower accident was neck in neck with his opponent throughout the entirety of the game. He played alongside his teammates Ricardo Vafeas and Joe Donaldson, who all had their fair share of powerful serves and successful returns. Such determination from our team, who even admit they’re aware ‘Beckett are very talented at tennis’, signifies how perhaps with the facilities, we could challenge Leeds Beckett more next year.