Varsity Trip announced today that the annual Ski Trip, which sees over 3000 students from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge travel to France each year for a week, has been moved to the 19th – 27th March 2021, for the safety of participants, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a post made to their Facebook Page, they said: “Our top priority is the safety of all of our trip attendees and so we have taken the decision to move Varsity to March 2021. A Spring Trip has been considered for a few years now, with global warming impacting our current dates, and we feel that this is a great opportunity to steer the trip in a new direction.”
The Trip is a major event on the calendar of many students, with opportunities available not just to ski or snowboard on the mountain, but also a number of nightlife occasions including an Opening Night and Final Night Party. Previous headliners have included the likes of Rudimental, Example and Sigala.
On Facebook, they said that “March will also offer guaranteed snow and much better weather for skiing (and apres!!), and [they] are very excited to host another unforgettable Varsity!”
While the trip has traditionally centred on the Varsity Ski Races between Oxford and Cambridge, social events make up a key component, and current social distancing measures would make the normal running of these impossible. The decision to postpone to Easter, in what would be Oxford’s 10th week and Cambridge’s 9th week, was therefore made in the hopes of having as close to a normal trip as possible. Accommodation and travel companies at this time in the year typically expect booking confirmation, so uncertainty caused by the virus likely meant these could not be confirmed.
Josh Boddington, President of Oxford University Ski and Snowboard Club, said that the decision to move the trip was “the best choice considering the situation”.
“The [Varsity Trip] committee this year had a tough decision to make and had to consider the safety of all trip goers. If they were to press on with the normal December date, there is a high probability the trip might have been cancelled anyway, or at least not be as good as it could be due to distancing measures limiting the available après activities. Having spoken to the committee before the announcement was public, I’m confident Varsity Trip 2021 will be as good, if not better, than any other year.”
“The extra time from now until the trip will give us extra space to prepare for the races against Cambridge, and more positively it gives freshers more chance to get involved and train with our teams.”
While the last two years have taken place in Val Thorens, the final resort announcement is expected to be made next week on the Trip’s social media pages.
Any questions can be answered on their FAQ page
Image Credit: Varsity Trip, used with permission