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Durham University

About Durham University

Durham University: Allowing exceptional people to do exceptional things

Every year, numerous students graduate from Durham University and go onto achieve global success in their chosen sport with the foundation of their sporting careers established whilst doing their degree at Durham.  Here is just a small selection of these alumni and their thoughts about their time at Durham.

Andrew Strauss (Hatfield College, 1998)

Andew Strauss is the current England Cricket Captain and also plays for Middlesex County Cricket Club.

"In my time at University I learnt about the game and about myself. With the help of Foxy (Fowler), the other coaches and my teammates instilled in myself the ambition and the values that I rely on today - on and off the field.

"Grassroots cricket at universities is critical to identifying and nurturing talent and the standards of coaching and personal development supported by the Marylebone Cricket Club is at the heart of embedding strong team-working and leadership skills in the culture of our national game."

Will Greenwood (Hatfield College, 1994)

Rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood is a regular face commentating on television.

"If I had to give something back in a Faustian Pact to ensure immortality and I had to choose between returning my world cup or having my memory of three years deleted from existence, there is no contest.  The medal is in the post.  The three greatest years of my life were spent on a rugby field at Durham University."

Jonathan Edwards (Van Mildert College, 1987)

The world record-holder Jonathan Edwards, Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist triple jumper, is a board member for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee.

"I had three great years at Durham in an environment which fostered both sporting and academic achievement."

Caroline Atkins (St Hild and St Bede, 2002)

Caroline Atkins is an Ashes-winning England cricketer who also won both the World Cup and Twenty20 World Championship in 2009.  Caroline was the first woman to 'graduate' from Durham University's Centre of Cricketing Excellence.

"Durham was definitely the right place for me, I love the place and it gave me a lot of experiences that I won't forget.  I gained so much more than a degree from Durham.  It was Graeme Fowler's University Centre of Cricketing Excellence that taught me ways to bring professionalism to a non-professional sport.  In the space of three years, the rest of my cricket career was shaped.  My World Cup winning medal wouldn't be mine if it wasn't for Durham."

Claire Bennett (Hatfield College, 2008)

Claire Bennet is a Commonwealth Championship medallist in fencing and a 2012 Olympic hopeful.

"I left Durham University with an overwhelming feeling of pride.  Pride in my university, in my team mates, and in the good friends I made there.  It is the support that I received at Durham, and the personal commitment to excellence instilled in me, that has helped me develop as an athlete and which hopefully will help me qualify for 2012."

Steve Rowbotham (Collingwood College, 2003)

Steve Rowbotham won Olympic bronze in the double scull at Beijing in 2008 and was part of the British squad which reached the final in the 2010 World Championships.

"Having never picked up an oar before I arrived at Durham University, eight years later I found myself on the Olympic podium with a bronze medal around my neck.  Without Durham and the guidance of coach Wade Hall-Craggs, I wouldn't have realised my dreams and achieved something truly exceptional."