College sport – Hill v Bailey

Tanisha Rajan

What is college sport? 

College level sport at Durham allows students to get involved with sport at university at a more relaxed and less competitive level and often allows students to learn a sport from scratch. If college sport is something you want to get involved in, it’s important to consider the different sports facilities at different colleges.

Bailey colleges

The Bailey colleges are the older colleges at Durham, located in old townhouses (and a Castle!). This means that space is often limited. That doesn’t mean that students here don’t get involved with sport though. In fact, Hatfield and Castle have a dedicated day where they compete against each other in different sports! Many of the colleges will head over to the Maiden Castle fields (Sport & Wellbeing Park) to play sports like lacrosse, rugby, football and more! Indoor sports like badminton and volleyball are played inside Maiden Castle. The Sports & Wellbeing Park is only about a 15-minute walk from the Bailey, meaning if you want to get involved, the travel isn’t very strenuous. Other sports such as cheer vary from college to college, but a few of the Bailey cheer teams practice in the Hild Bede JCR. The intercollegiate cheer competition is still at Maiden Castle though.

Hill colleges

Hill colleges were founded later and so have a lot more space than Bailey colleges. Colleges such as Grey and Collingwood both have tennis courts for college use. While Mary’s and Stephenson have dedicated outdoor sports areas. Some sports at the hill colleges may still happen at Maiden Castle, especially if there are intercollegiate competitions. For example, floodlit matches, which are attended by the colleges competing, are also often held at Maiden Castle. 

Which is better? 

Even though hill colleges do have more on site sport facilities, the facilities used by the Bailey colleges are not far away and most people who engage in college sport will likely visit Maiden Castle at some point due to the intercollegiate competitions at Durham. 

Most of the sports offered at colleges will also be the same, but it is worth looking at what is offered at each college if there is something specific you’re interested in. For example, Castle did not have a cheer team until this year! 

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Tanisha Rajan


Hi! I’m Tanisha and I’m a final year undergraduate student studying BSc Geography at Castle. In my free time you could probably find me painting, drawing, or crocheting - basically anything creative, as well as being a member of the college cheer team!


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