Roses 2017

Roses is an annual varsity contest between York and Lancaster Universities, stemming from the War of the Roses.The 2017,53rd contest took a different approach, with the institutions putting sporting rivalries aside to work together as one team to promote an important message around mental health. With the prevalence of mental health issues increasing, and too often University students finding themselves unable to seek support or speak out about the challenges they face,organisers took the decision to focus the contest on mental health and develop a unique partnership with local support services in both cities. 
Both respective student unions’ partnered with their local branch of the national mental health charity MIND. With over 2,500 student participants,139 fixtures,52 sports and footfall of 6,000 over the weekend, Roses is by far the biggest platform to engage students, the local community and raise awareness of the positive link between sport and mental health. 
In the lead up to the event, students bravely profiled their experiences of mental health.The partners created a joint fundraising campaign which surpassed its donation target. The prestigious opening and closing ceremonies gave student representatives and MIND the platform to publicly stress the importance of the topic with key decision makers.

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