Skip to main content

A speech is held in front of banners

We welcomed students, staff, alumni, members of the wider community and partners to celebrate the culmination of our year as Times and Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2023.

This accolade, which underscores the wide array of sporting opportunities at Durham and our consistent, outstanding achievements in sport across performance, participation and community engagement over many years. 

New Hall of Fame Inductees 

We also had the privilege of inducting two exceptional alumni into the Durham University Sports' Hall of Fame:  

Sophie Hosking MBE, the Olympic Rowing Gold Medallist in the Lightweight Double Sculls for Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics.  

Holly Colvin, who represented the Senior England Cricket team an impressive 143 times, is a double World Cup winner and became England's youngest senior player at the age of 15.  

Sophie Hosking with Jeremy Cook and the VC

An Academic Perspective 

Our Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences is on a continuous growth trajectory, earning its place among the world's top 100 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023). In 2023, we are set to launch our first postgraduate programme, further strengthening our commitment to academic excellence in sports sciences.

Sport as an Integral Part of Life 

The wider student experience at Durham University fosters active participation in all aspects of university life, with a special emphasis on sports. This emphasis is fundamental to the holistic development of our students, moulding them into well-rounded and resilient members of society. 

The outcomes of this commitment are genuinely inspiring: we support over 50 internationally capped athletes annually, with more than 140 alumni successfully pursuing careers in sports-related fields. Our consistent presence in the top three of the British University & Colleges Sport league table since 2012, often as number one for team sports, further underscores our sporting prowess. 

The exceptional sports programme at Durham also offers opportunities for everyone. With the highest student participation rate in UK higher education, approximately 80% of our students actively engage in sports and physical activities during their time here. 

Holly Colvin and the VC

Engaging the Local Community 

Our commitment to community engagement is at the core of our sports programme's success. Over the last ten years, we have invested over £40 million in the state-of-the-art sports facility at Maiden Castle, where we welcome over 10,000 local community members each year. Furthermore, more than 20 community groups, including our staff and students, operate from Durham University Sport facilities. 

As part of our mission to widen access to Durham University, we're actively developing more diverse and inclusive avenues for student involvement in sports. Plans for an e-sport hub based at Maiden Castle are in progress and expected to be completed later this year. 


Find out more: