The most exciting sporting event of Nottingham’s academic year started with an intense basketball game kicking off the battle between the two universities.

The Varsity series involves a number of sports events which pits the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University against each other.

Lauren Coelho, a student from Nottingham Trent University said: “This year was my second time performing at the basketball game as part of Trent Dance.

“The atmosphere was amazing and there was a real buzz in the stadium with chants flying everywhere.

“It was such a tense game, with both teams trying their absolute best and fighting for the win.”

The series, also known as The Charity Varsity, has been organised for the benefit of charity since 2004 and this year Notts County Football in the Community is the nominated charity partner.

Football in the Community is an award-winning charity providing direction across Nottingham and its deprived communities through sport and education.

Using the power of sport, their projects improve people’s health, confidence and skills.

Events and Partnerships Executive Neil Kelly has been part of the fundraising in this year’s Varsity series.

He said: “For us it’s been really good to raise the profile of Football in the Community amongst the student population and we have been impressed with the generosity of the students from both universities.”

The Co-coordinator of the events allowed the charity to undertake fundraising actives, which included bucket collections, face painting and also branded university and football in community hand clappers.

They work with people in the local community who are recovering from cancer, suffering with dementia, refugees, primary and secondary school children and many more groups of disadvantaged people throughout Nottinghamshire.

Neil added: “We wanted to get the message out that it’s not just for the football club.

“It’s been great for us to get involved in the organisation of the events, such as bubble football at Meadow Lane last night, as well as our mascots that we send along to the club.”

Every year, Nottingham becomes the stage for some of the greatest sporting scenes for students and visitors to enjoy.

Lacrosse player, Laura Moore, is a second year student at Nottingham Trent University.

This was her second Varsity appearance and thinks that the Varsity series helps bring people together for a bit of fun rivalry.

She said: “I really enjoy the fast nature of the game and Lacrosse is a great club to be part of.

“The varsity series is always good fun and all teams support each other and enjoy the social aspects.”

With only a few more sporting events to come, it will be exciting to see both Universities battle it out in pursuit of the Varsity trophy and enjoy the glory of the win.