Sport at Durham

Demi Tuinema

Durham University has been titled the Sports University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2023. For many students, sport is an integral part of university life. With over 75% of students engaged in sport and physical activity, Durham University offers a range of opportunities for a variety of abilities.

At Durham, sport is for everyone!

College sport

The unique college structure allows for participation in up to 18 sports. As part of a college sport, you will typically have one training and one match each week. Matches are played as part of an inter-college league. Numerous sports also take part in floodlit games as part of knockout competitions which offers an exciting opportunity to represent your college in front of a bigger crowd towards the end of the term. College level sport is a great way to stay active, meet new people and be part of a team.

To find out more about sports different colleges offer – College Sport

Many colleges also have sports facilities on site. For example, Collingwood has studio space, a gym, a floodlit 3G rubber crumb multi sports pitch, 2 cricket nets with bowling machine as well as a tennis and netball court. Simply, have a look on the college websites to find out what sporting facilities different colleges offer.

The Intercollegiate Cheer Competition 2024


There are also multiple societies you can take part in during your time at Durham University. For example: the yoga and pilates society, the fitness society, caving society and social golf society – to name a few. Participating in societies allows you to discover new passions, form new friendships and offers a fun alternative to competitive sport.

Take a look at the more ‘active’ societies you could join with the SU.

University sport

This includes all higher-level competitive sport. At university level, you will be representing Durham University playing matches against other universities. Some sports also have the opportunity to play in a weekend league. There are around 56 different sports to choose from. It is also important to note that there are various undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships on offer.

To find out more: Team Durham

A DU lacrosse match

The main sports complex at Durham is named Maiden Castle which offers world-class facilities to university students, staff, and the local community. Some of which include the rubber crumb, rowing tank, sports hall, cricket centre, performance hub and a water-based Astro. As a DU athlete, you will be able to use such facilities as part of your training. There is also an option to book facilities at student rates as you wish.

Wider Durham opportunities

There also many other sporting opportunities in Durham such as the Park Run, True Padel and a range of public gyms.

  • The park run is a free, community 5km event which takes place every Saturday morning, where you can walk/jog/run/volunteer or even spectate! 
  • True Padel is a new indoor Padel tennis club facility set up on the outskirts of Durham which is so fun, and I would highly recommend.
  • Furthermore, there are multiple gyms available in Durham which offer student memberships.
Park Run takes place every Saturday starting from Maiden Castle


There is also the option to engage in volunteering activities within the wider community. Students can choose to volunteer through the Durham University Volunteering and Outreach team in a range of themes, including Sport and Physical Activity.

Over the years, I have participated in DU Lacrosse, College netball, College mixed lacrosse, The Park Run and The Fitness Society. Durham University has a huge range of sporting opportunities available. Whether you want to push yourself to be the best, try out a new sport or simply be part of a team there is an opportunity for you.

Discover more

Find out more about all the different levels of sport at Durham here

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Demi Tuinema

Hi! I'm Demi, a third year studying Sport and Exercise Science at Durham University (Collingwood college). I love to be active, try out new things and explore Durham.

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