This year’s VarsityFest has been postponed, following heavy snow and cold weather. In an update, Imperial College Union (ICU) told students: “Due to adverse weather VarsityFest from this Saturday 3 March is postponed.” Club captains are scheduled to receive emails about contingency plans, and students are advised to check for updates in the coming days. ICU has posted photographs of Heston Sports Ground buried under a thick blanket of snow. Organisers have given club captains three options for a new date, and the choice will be communicated to students in the near future.

The move follows the cancellation of this week’s Hockey Varsity, which was scheduled to be played on Wednesday afternoon. In a statement, Sport Imperial said “Harlington is now under a thick layer of snow and frozen over”, and it would send an update later in the week on when the match would be rescheduled.

Tickets for VarsityFest should still be accepted for the rescheduled date, but students who cannot make it will be provided with a refund. Information about the process for refunds will be sent out once the date has been rearranged.

In a statement, an ICU representative said: “Due to adverse weather conditions which are not scheduled to change over the weekend, Sport Imperial and Imperial College Union took the decision today to postpone the annual VarsityFest competition. We plan to re-arrange the event at a different time. We are disappointed that the weather has impacted the event as such, but the main concern was the playing conditions at the grounds and at this moment it is not safe to play sport on frozen ground.”

VarsityFest 2018 was scheduled to take place this Saturday, 3rd March. This year the Headline match will be the Netball 1s, and the Showcase match will be Kabaddi. The majority of the matches were scheduled to be played outside.

The current weather has caused havoc across the country, as strong winds, low temperatures, and heavy snow affected transport links. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled, and the Met Office has issued a red extreme weather warning for snow and wind in southwest England. It said: “Long interruptions to power supplies and other utilities are very likely to occur, along with damage to trees and other structures due to heavy snow or ice.” The extreme weather has been prompted by icy Siberian air – dubbed “the beast from the east” – which has engulfed the country.