Women in sport at Durham

Ho Chi, Steffi Parr and Imogen Eddison

Ho Chi – university badminton

I’m Ho Chi, a Chemistry PhD student at Hild Bede, I’ve already completed a 4 year MChem degree.
Sport has played a big part in my university life as I’ve been actively involved with both college and University level badminton throughout my degree. Not only have I enjoyed the competitiveness in the sport, but also the social side of it, as I met most of my best friends through badminton.

I first started playing badminton competitively when I joined college badminton as a fresher. This helped me improve as a player and got me into the University Badminton team in my second year. Since then, I’ve captained my college mixed doubles team to win the premiership league in my third year, while also having responsibilities on the University Team Exec, such as Treasurer and Women’s Vice-Captain.

In my master’s year, I took up the role of college Badminton Officer, where I was responsible for organising college badminton across the University. This was the best way for me to contribute back to the badminton community. I found the role incredibly fulfilling as I was able to make improvements to the system such as setting up a singles tournament alongside the usual doubles format, which was very well received. It was very satisfying when my efforts were appreciated as I became the winner of the Contribution to College Sports Award!

After graduating from my MChem with a first, the departmental thesis and the runner-up prize in the National Undergraduate Research Poster Competition, I’m now staying in Durham to study for a 4-year PhD. I’m excited to continue my sports journey at Durham.

The badminton team

Steffi – college netball

I’m Steffi Parr, a final year Geography (BSc) student and I am the current President of Butler College Netball Club (BCNC).
Having previously played netball, I joined BCNC in my first year which presented me the opportunity to meet other students in my college with similar interests, and from different years and programmes of study.  This also allowed me to seek advice on all aspects of university life such as balancing sport with study etc. Netball is the UK’s most popular sport for women, so it was encouraging to see so many females supporting and respecting one another and creating our successful college teams. Having the opportunity to play multiple sports at so many levels is an incredible concept that the Durham collegiate system has implemented and allows students to discover new opportunities through sport.

In the past year, BCNC has been very successful and was honoured to be voted Durham University College Club of the Year alongside winning Josephine Butler Club of the Year. This is a testament to all the players within the college who have played for any of our teams. We also collaborated with other sports within our college and have given back to the wider Durham community through participation in a charity netball match with Josephine Butler Rugby Club to raise money for the charity, Durham Action on Single Housing (DASH). These memories and achievements have helped me navigate all aspects of university and have taught me life skills that I achieved independently from my academic skills.

Josephine Butler College Netball Team

Imogen – women’s football at Durham

I’m Imogen Eddison, a final year Geography BSc student at Trevelyan College and have been involved with sport at Durham at a variety of levels.
Growing up in Cornwall I have been involved in various sports from a young age. I have played football at a county level and currently play netball at a regional two level. I was a member of my surf club from the age of eight, where over the years I competed in local competitions and toured Portugal in 2016.

Coming to Durham I knew I’d get involved with a range of sports, both at university and college level. College sport has allowed me to take on various leadership roles, with my favourite being club captain of Trevelyan College Women’s Football Club in my second year as it provided me with the richest opportunity to empower women within my college. We finished the season unbeaten, promoted and winners of the Floodlit Cup, gaining a university-wide award recognising our achievements in promoting inclusivity and our successes that season. Many of the successes that season were down to the tireless work of the Executive Committee, where we launched a campaign to introduce more players to the game by providing structured and tailored training sessions for women of all abilities.

I have been an active member of the DU Netball Club since my first year. In my second year, I also took on a team captaincy role for the club, seeing us to a top three finish in a tough new division. Playing for DUNC has challenged me as a player a lot, but also it is a club where I have made lasting friendships. On the weekends, I umpire college matches to develop my umpiring and in 2020 was elected as the College Netball Liaison Officer role.

Being involved in team sports from a young age has been a huge part of my life and it has shaped me into the person I am today. Continuing to play both netball and football at Durham University has been an important part of my time here and something I’ll never forget.

Trevs women’s football

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Ho Chi, Steffi Parr and Imogen Eddison

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