The Blues Committee stated that they were reviewing the structure of the committee, which might lead to reform in the futureDIK NG

Cambridge students aspiring to obtain a Blue for the women’s football team might face a disadvantage due to variations in criteria when compared to the men’s team, Varsity has found.

To receive a Blue, the highest award available to student sportspeople at Cambridge, members of the University’s male football team (CUAFC) must be chosen to participate in the Varsity match against Oxford, even if they serve as substitute players and play only a brief period during the entire game.

For female players, however, securing a Blue requires not only being selected for the Varsity match but also being part of the starting XI, along with the whole team placing top four in the league.

This means that if a starting player was injured in the first few minutes of the game and then replaced by a substitute who plays for the remaining duration, the substitute would not qualify for a Full Blue.

Abbie Hastie, captain of CUAFC’s women’s team, told Varsity: “How can it be right that it’s easier for men’s footballers to get a blue than women’s footballers? The women’s blues committee hides behind the existence of separate committees and needs to step up and ensure equality.”

Cambridge’s female football team reached the national cup final last year and earned the Ospreys Club of the Year title last season.

The rationale for the discrepancies in Blue attainment lies in the higher number of male players trying for a place on the Varsity team and playing football overall, which creates a perceived higher level of competitiveness, say officials.

Scott Annett, Senior Member overseeing both the men’s and women’s Blues committees, told Varsity that, given the difference in participation numbers, it might not always be logical for “the same standards to be applied automatically to both groups”.


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One member of the CUAFC women’s team, however, drew attention to the societal challenges faced by female football, telling Varsity that female players often suffer from a “lack of role models”, which the men’s team generally have in abundance.

Cai La Trobe-Roberts, Blues Captain for CUAFC Men’s Committee, told Varsity that these differences in acquiring a Blue in Cambridge Association Football “feel incredibly unfair on the women”.

The Blues Committee have acknowledged that they are aware of the differences between the two teams, emphasising that the two are run by separate committees, who decide the Blues standards independently of one another.

Although many Cambridge sports clubs are beginning to unify committees, such as the Rugby Union, this is not always the case.

The Blues Committee also stated that they were reviewing the structure of the committee, which might lead to reform in the future.