In gloomy conditions, the 2023 Big Blue Varsity challenge lit up Clayton as Monash University and Melbourne University battled it out on the field.
The two universities competed in men’s and women’s soccer, mixed ultimate frisbee, women’s hockey and men’s and women’s squash and put on a show for the more than 1000-strong crowd who braved the rain.
A 3-3 result from the six sports have Monash just one point down in the annual challenge that consists of over 15 different head to head matchups annually.
But it wasn’t just the sports on the field that had the fans in the stands cheering. Monash’s Blue Person was out and about and had everyone in stitches with his antics, while a lucky fan also won two tickets to the Australian Grand Prix thanks to Red Bull.
There was also face painting, activations, a sausage sizzle, cheerleaders, a marching band and lots more to ensure that plenty of fun was being had!
All competing athletes enjoyed themselves, but perhaps none more than the Monash mixed ultimate frisbee team. Finding themselves well down at half-time, the Monash side regrouped and pulled off a comeback for the ages to down Melbourne 10-9.
Seb Jordan believes the side got back to doing what it does best: having fun!
“Just grit. Pure grit… We just kicked. We did the huddle and we came together,” Seb says when asked how the team pulled off the mammoth comeback.
“The first half was a struggle but the team just came together. I’d lost complete faith, but the team was just there and we were having fun. We play well when we have fun.”
Other results to fall in Monash’s favour included 3-1 wins in both the men’s and women’s squash.
Chris Pon from the men’s team says: “The back-to-back win feels amazing… One of our teammates Zoe got her first Varsity win tonight.”
Meanwhile, Carina Loi spoke of the mutual respect between Melbourne and Monash that’s made the Big Blue such an enjoyable series of events.
“We’re all friends, we’re all doing our best on the court… We obviously cheer for each other when there’s good play from both sides, I think it’s really fun,” Carina says.
Monash was unfortunately edged out in the women’s soccer and hockey, and suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the men’s soccer in a penalty shootout in the pouring rain. Despite the loss, it’s sure to be a loss that galvanises the group and inspires more fun on the field for the rest of Big Blue 2023.
We’d like to thank Melbourne University for taking part again and can’t wait for the next events!
Mixed Frisbee: 10-9 Monash
Men’s Soccer: 2-2 Melbourne (penalties)
Women’s Soccer: 3-1 Melbourne
Women’s Hockey: 1-0 Melbourne
Men’s Squash: 3-1 Monash
Women’s Squash: 3-1 Monash
For a full breakdown of all the scores and the 2023 Big Blue Varsity challenge, click here.