University of Nottingham students James Foster and Aaron Perry became the 2016 Universities V2 Champion and runner-up respectively at the Inter- University V2 Championships in Sheffield last month.
V2 is the singles version of VX, the fast-paced and fast-growing sport that is increasing in participation in universities. The game is played on a squash court and points are scored by hitting an opponent with one of the balls (which scores 1 point) or catching an opponent’s shot (which scores 3 points). It is a fast-paced sport, similar to squash and dodgeball, which is gender-neutral and played on an equal footing by males and females.
VX, originally from North Yorkshire, was first launched in February 2006 at the Youth Sport Trust’s Sports Colleges Conference. VX has continued to grow in universities and now has associations in 25 different countries, of which 15 have national governing bodies.
“After BUCS failed to organise a 2015 tournament, VX England stepped in to resurrect the competition this year”
After BUCS failed to organise a 2015 tournament, VX England stepped in to resurrect the competition this year. For 2016, three universities were represented by five players – James Foster and Aaron Perry from the University of Nottingham, Dave Snowdon from Leeds Trinity University and Ranjeet Shahi of the University of York VX Club. York was also represented by Jess Leech who also competed in 2014 for Northumbria.
Excitement had been building prior to the tournament, which was held at Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Centre in Sheffield, also the venue for this year’s V2 World Cup.
Jess Leech overturned a half-time deficit to take the first match 68:63 against fellow York student Ranjeet Shahi and then it was Nottingham v Nottingham as James Foster and Aaron Perry took to the court.
The two highly-experienced players fought a close match and the first half ended all square at 23-23. The lead swang back and forth in the second half but it was Foster who clinched the victory by a mere two points.
After a break, Nottingham’s Perry then defeated Leeds’ Jess Leech to lead the table. Next up was Leeds Trinity’s Dave Snowdon, making history as the tournament’s oldest player. He fought hard against Shahi and took the match by a mere six points. He was on court again to meet Foster, but the University of Nottingham student was now playing with confidence and took the match comfortably.
“Another very close match followed as Nottingham’s Perry won against York’s Shahi by a mere three points”
Another very close match followed as Nottingham’s Perry won against York’s Shahi by a mere three points, but James Foster then maintained his 100% record by defeating Leech of the University of York.
The final deciding match was Foster’s encounter with Ranjeet Shahi of York which would win the title for the German student. Shahi tried to employ close game tactics but the pressure from the University of Nottingham’s Foster prohibited Shahi from dictating the game. James maintained his performance level until the end to take the game 66-42, and to win the V2 Championship title.
“After a fantastic sporting year for The University of Nottingham, further success has come at the V2 Championships in Sheffield”
Paul Hildreth of Global VX who was a referee for the tournament said: “We are delighted that VX England have rescued this tournament. The sport is now making great inroads into universities and we already have several more universities and players wanting to be involved in the tournament next year”.
“Congratulations to James for his win, but also to the other players who contributed to such a great event that was played in a superb atmosphere of sporting fair play,” he continued.
After a fantastic sporting year for The University of Nottingham, further success has come at the V2 Championships in Sheffield. The VX club will be aiming for increased participation and greater success next season.
Images courtesy of James Foster