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27th September 2021

Sports Societies Fair postponed amidst Oxford Road chaos

An alternative, unofficial Sports Society Freshers Fair has taken place in the Armitage Centre following the Oxford Road flooding that has caused severe disruption across Manchester.
Sports Societies Fair postponed amidst Oxford Road chaos
Photo: Armitage-61 @Flickr

The Students Union’s Official Sports and Societies Fair has been postponed to next week, but an alternative makeshift event was set up in the Armitage Sports Centre on Fallowfield Campus.

The move comes after a water main burst around 5am near the University of Manchester’s main campus, causing substantial flooding on Oxford Road and parts of the University Campus. 

Students have told The Mancunion that they were informed of the fair’s cancellation around 8.50 AM only for it to then be rescheduled for 11.30 AM. Sports societies said they were informed of the event’s new location between 9.30 AM to 10.00 AM.

The fair finished at 4.00 PM and was advertised via social media to the student body. No official email communication from the University was sent to students despite the alternative fair being sanctioned by the Senior Leadership Team.

Andrew Miller, the University’s Business Operations Manager for Sports, told The Mauncunion that the University communicated “with the students union as well to make sure that we’re not just supporting the sports teams that UoM sports supports, but also in supporting a range of the activities that obviously are supported through the Students Union”.

He went on to say that “the original fair had something like 96 exhibitors and actually we’ve got capacity to accommodate all of those so I know even though they’re the vast majority of sports, which would have been the case in the Students Union, as well, that there is still a facility for support”.

Despite the last minute reschedule, the event was still well attended with a high turnout and most Sports societies having a makeshift stall at the fair.

Sports society representatives were mainly positive about the reschedule, saying that they needed to be able to advertise their sports this week due to trials starting next week as well as the fact that when students begin lectures there might not be time for them to attend such an event. 

Alex Fish, Chairperson of the Taekwondo society told The Mancunion that he “was glad that the event had gone ahead” because “after 18 months [of no sport] the societies really need it”. 

The Students Union has said that there will still be an official Sports and Societies Fair sometime next week which will better resemble what today’s planned event was intended to be.

Joe McFadden

Joe McFadden

Managing Editor (2022/23)

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