University of Dundee are Varsity 2024 champions

Published on 21 March 2024

Hundreds of student athletes faced-off as Dundee’s two universities battled for sporting supremacy

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After 22 games, it was the University of Dundee that reigned victorious and lifted the Tay Varsity Challenge Trophy, having beaten their opponents from Abertay University, 19-3 to Dundee.

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

Sports included football, rugby, hockey, basketball, netball, swimming, archery, tennis, badminton, pool, golf and many more, at facilities across the city.

Activities kicked off with tennis, archery and swimming at the University of Dundee’s Institute of Sport and Exercise (ISE), which attracted crowds of spectators.

Supporters also gathered at Riverside Playing Fields to support their teams in rugby, football and hockey matches.

Despite a drizzly start at Riverside, the sun even made an appearance towards the end of the event.

Players and spectators enjoyed Varsity 2024

Hockey teammates Hannah Ritchie, 19, who studies fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, and Maia Gillespie, 20, who studies dentistry at Dundee, enjoyed friendly rivalry during their match.

Maia said, “The rivalry was quite intense. Everyone was trying their best, but it was good fun.

“Abertay only has one hockey team so they don’t usually play in our league [2nd women’s]. It was nice to play with friends and people we know in other teams.”

Hannah added, “It’s great to see everyone come together. We’ve watched lots of different sports but the women’s hockey has been the best. There was a great turnout and lots of cheers.”

two girls wearing red t-shirts and holding red batons, which are crossed over each other

The University of Dundee Sports Union President, Alice Saville said, “The women’s hockey was such a close game. Both teams were giving it their all which was really nice to see.

“The whole atmosphere has been so supportive and everyone’s happy, no matter the scores.”

Pool matches took place at Shotz Pool and Snooker Dundee, on Douglas Street, Dundee, and golf was played at Scotscraig Golf Club, in Tayport, Fife.

Athletics was held at Regional Performance Centre, in Caird Park, Dundee, which included a Cross Country race for the first time.

Badminton and volleyball took place at ISE, with the final matches of the day being the much-anticipated basketball games. Crowds there were also treated to dance and cheerleading performances and an award ceremony.

action shot of two teams playing basketball and jumping towards the ball at a goal

Friends Kirsty Sutherland, 20, who studies forensic science at Abertay, and Nancy Campbell, also 20, who studies sports science at Abertay enjoyed watching the football.

Kirsty said, “We came to support our team, our uni and to watch our friends. It’s a great atmosphere.”

Nancy added, “We were at the netball too. Everyone is really up for it and enjoys the game, no matter who wins.”

Molly Wilson, Sports President for Abertay University (pictured below on the second from the left), also enjoyed the netball and played goal keeper for her university’s team.

She said, “It was a high intensity game. We’ve not played the Dundee girls since last Varsity so it was great to play them again.

“There were lots of people there supporting, it was a good buzz with lots of cheering and fun posters.”

group of girls wearing blue and yellow sports outfits, holding signs of support for Abertay

Abertay University won the women’s football, men’s 2nd basketball and men’s 2nd football, while The University of Dundee won all other matches.


Sheanne Mulholland

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 385423