A blast of frigid air from the continent, dubbed “the beast from the east” in many circles, saw Wednesday 28th of February, the last day of meteorological winter, bring its icy vengeance upon the UK. As the town was put under an extremely rare red weather warning, signifying that “risk to life is likely” according to the met office, and with the air temperature maxing out at -1°C over the course of the day, it was inevitable that the day’s BUCS fixtures would face the chop. Speaking on the 28th, Athletic Union President Tom Abbott, said “We took the decision yesterday to call off our outdoor fixtures due to the weather. This would be due to a variety of reasons but would mostly be due to the ground being frozen and therefore unsafe.” “This morning, having seen the weather, we cancelled every fixture, as we didn’t think it was safe for other university clubs to try and get here. Pretty much every other Scottish institution has done the same as far as I’m aware.”

This was echoed by Director of Sport Stephen Stewart, who said, in a statement, “The current spell of adverse weather comes at a very busy time of the year for Sport, with many of our clubs and athletes coming to the crux of their BUCS/SSS leagues or knockout competitions. Whilst we strive to do everything in our power to ensure fixtures are fulfilled, our students’ safety is paramount.”

“Following advice from Police Scotland against travelling in the most affected areas, we made the decision to cancel all fixtures and sessions at St Andrews, as well as preventing our teams from travelling, until the weather has sufficiently improved. We will endeavour to get all fixtures rearranged and we look forward to a successful end to the sporting year.”

Those teams whose away games were cancelled will not be charged for their booked transport according to Abbott, who said “We have cancelled all of the vehicle bookings we had, and we won’t charge the clubs for bookings. In some cases, Arnold Clarke etc. also cancelled them.” Not all teams were so lucky, however, with some teams stranded south of the border by the snow. In his statement, Stewart remarked “Our women’s water polo team, and our fencing team had both flown to Bristol before the severe weather alert and they are now unfortunately stuck due to the adverse weather conditions. We are using our best endeavours to get them back as soon as possible and are arranging hotel accommodation as necessary We are all hoping for a speedy and safe return.”

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