Press release

Dundee’s two universities battle for Varsity cup

Published on 5 March 2024

Sports teams from Dundee’s two universities will go head-to-head in a series of matches and challenges as they battle to take home the Varsity cup.

On this page

The University of Dundee, current holders of the Tay Varsity Challenge Trophy, will take on Abertay University, on March 20.

More than 600 student athletes will compete in 24 sporting events at various venues across the city, and it is hoped that many more will join the crowds in support.

Spectators armed with foam fingers, bang-bang sticks and red or blue t-shirts will be encouraged to cheer on their team – and everyone is welcome from current and former students, to members of the public. 

Sporting events range from football and rugby to tennis and archery, and are all free to attend. There will also be cheerleading and dance performances and the day will be topped off with an awards ceremony and free pizza.

The University of Dundee Sports Union President, Alice Saville said, “Varsity is always a day packed full of fun, whether you are participating or a spectator. I’m looking forward to seeing both universities from Dundee compete and making some lasting memories.”

In front two women face each other, one with red and one with blue sports kits on and look challenging into each other's eyes. Behind to males do the same and both hold a rugby ball.

This is the 15th time the sporting event has taken place and it is the biggest amateur sporting event in the city’s calendar.

As the smaller university, Abertay has called themselves the ‘underdog’, but say that has not dampened their enthusiasm to win, adding that ‘everyone loves and underdog success story’.

Michael Devlin, Sports Development Officer at Abertay University, said, “Varsity’s the highlight of the student calendar, marking the exciting culmination of both league and cup seasons.

“Anticipation runs high as we eagerly await the potential for thrilling upsets throughout the event. 

“We're looking forward to a bit of friendly rivalry and hoping to snatch the trophy from Dundee!”

tug or war with big rope and people in blue outfits on one side, pulling against people in red outfits on the other side and two coloured ribbons hanging from the middle of the rope.

Sports include football, rugby and hockey games, all of which will be held at Riverside between 12pm and 5pm. 

Basketball, netball, volleyball, tennis and badminton matches will also take place, all at the University of Dundee’s Institute of Sport and Exercise (ISE), off Hawkhill, between 12pm and 6pm.

An archery contest will also take place at ISE at 10am and there will be swimming galas between 2pm and 4pm at ISE’s swimming pool.  

Athletics events will be held at the Regional Performance Centre at Caird Park, Dundee, from 1pm to 4pm.

Pool matches will start at 1pm at Shotz Pool and Snooker Dundee, Douglas Street, and golf will take place from 11am at Scotscraig Golf Club, in Tayport.

For full event details and live updates on the day, visit Dundee’s Sports Union page on Instagram.

Group of people in sports kit, standing on outside stairs together. Front two are holding a trophy between them and 11 people behind hold various sports equipment.

Sheanne Mulholland

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 385423