Welcome to the home of sport at Durham University, the premier University for combining academic and sporting excellence, and ranked as Britain's Number 1 Team Sport University within the inter-university BUCS leagues.
Sport at Durham focuses on the three core strands of performance and leadership, participation and community sport development. 75% of our students take part in sport on a regular basis in a programme that is both innovative and constantly changing. Our philosophy at Durham is to provide opportunities in sport to enable exceptional people to do exceptional things. In this respect there can be few better shining examples than Will Carling, Nasser Hussain, Jonathan Edwards, Andrew Strauss and recent Olympic gold medalists Sophie Hoskings and Lily van den Broeke. If you wish to pursue sport at a high level, then there are few better places to do that than in Durham.
At the present time we have professional coaching support in:
- Basketball (Men’s & Women’s)
- Cricket (Men’s & Women’s)
- Fencing (Men’s & Women’s)
- Hockey (Men’s & Women’s)
- Lacrosse (Men’s)
- Lacrosse (Women's)
- Tennis (Men’s & Women’s)
- Rowing (Men’s & Women’s)
- Rugby Union (Men's)
- Volleyball (Men's & Women's)
We have part time coaches in a further 15 sports. The difference that a professional structure can make to the development of student athletes should not be underestimated. We are a British Rowing Performance Centre, we have First Class County Cricket status, Tennis Foundation University Performance Centre status, English Lacrosse High Performance status and British Fencing Centre status. In addition to university leagues, teams compete in the England Hockey National League, the British Basketball League, the National Volleyball League and the Women's Football Super League and boast a host of rowers, fencers and lacrosse players who compete at an international level on an annual basis. On average we help to develop over 30 student athletes, across over 15 sports, who compete at international level each academic year. Current examples of students that competed at senior international level recently include Gemma Collis (Fencing), Heather Kerr (Women's Rugby) and Dan Robson (Canoeing).
The performance sport athlete support structure is also extensive. Students can access a wide range of services including strength and conditioning, injury support, nutritional guidance and lifestyle management support. We work closely with sport national governing bodies to ensure that the university’s basketball, cricket, fencing, lacrosse, rowing and tennis programmes are delivered in conjunction with the respective national organisations. Few institutions more seamlessly, successfully and consistently combine sporting and academic excellence.
Sport scholarships are available for high calibre undergraduate (home students) and postgraduate (international students) athletes.
One of the key attractions of Durham University is the collegiate structure, and this is very much the case when it comes to sport. Durham’s College Sport programme is larger than any other intra-mural competition offered in Britain and there is an opportunity for male and female students to compete in 15 sports, across over 500 different teams, on a weekly basis. This not only helps to keep students active and healthy but it also provides a sense of belonging to many students, something that is often very important during the initial stages of an individual’s university career. Similarly, the programme provides a suitable alternative for those who have not managed to be selected for University squads.
The vast majority of the organisation for College Sport is student led and it is estimated that in a programme that includes over 6,000 students, approximately 1,000 are exposed to organisational and management experiences at some stage throughout their time at Durham. The programme also allows students to gain significant coaching and officiating experience and over 150 students are funded through National Governing Body courses and then found suitable placements upon completion on an annual basis. Add to this the experiences gained by University athletes who help to organise and lead university clubs and it is clear that the Durham programme prepares students not only to win on the court, on the water or on the field, but to achieve in life and succeed in whatever they choose to do after graduation.
The third strand of the Team Durham programme focuses on our role in the locality, the region and internationally. The University Sport programme now engages with all 47 local Durham schools and all of the city’s major clubs. Our involvement is increasingly rewarding; over 200 students volunteer to coach within schools on an annual basis, whilst approximately 2000 children are presented with the opportunity to use the University’s sporting facilities each year. However it is perhaps the role that these partnerships play beyond sport that is most important, with the aspirations of children increasing as a direct result of exposure to the University and regular contact with current university students.
Team Durham has also established an outstanding reputation with regard to broader outreach work. Sport can impact positively upon well being and individual development in many different ways and we now have sport programmes working with drug rehabilitation clients; people with learning disorders, mental health disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders; vulnerable women; homeless; SEB children and youth offenders. A total of over 4,000 clients now engage annually in multi-skill sport programmes that are developed in consultation with client groups and are delivered, with the help of students, with the objective of facilitating the development of a series of generic skills that serve to benefit the clients in their normal every day life.
Team Durham: English Institute of Sport hub site / British Olympic passport holder’s site