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Celebrating our athletes from students to alumni

Our athletes hail from all walks of life, academic disciplines and Colleges and hone their skills while at Durham.

Sporting prowess doesn't stop after graduation, and many go on to become fully fledged sport stars. Others continue to be involved with their sport by choosing different pathways, such as providing leadership, coaching or volunteering. We are inspired by our student athletes and alumni alike, and are proud of their dedication and passion.
Discover our athletes
A group of mainly women standing on the banks of a river celebrating while holding a trophy and standing in front of a red BUCS champions banner


University student
Through our Wider Student Experience programme, we do all we can to support students to enrich their time at Durham through the performing arts, sport, volunteering, entrepreneurship, e-sports and countless other activities. This year has been an excellent one for our sports clubs. They have achieved a record-breaking 13 British Universities and Colleges Sport national titles. Four alumni and a graduating student have so far been named in the Olympic team too - for rowing and hockey. We wish them all the very best of luck this summer and will certainly be cheering them on!

Professor Karen O’Brien
Vice-Chancellor and Warden
The logo for the 2024 Paris Olympics

Durham at the 2024 Olympics

Four alumni and a graduating student have been announced as part of the Team GB squad ahead of the Olympics in Paris. Congratulations to Lauren Irwin (women's rowing), Tess Howard and Fiona Crackles (women's hockey), Jack Waller and Ollie Payne (men's hockey).

Read more about Lauren's Team GB selection Find out more about Durham in Team GB hockey


University student
The support I received from my College (Hild Bede) and its boat club definitely helped my rowing career. The links that the University also had with British rowing definitely helped my progression through the sport too. I'm so grateful for everyone's support and I wouldn't be here without it. Especially the coaches, my friends at University and my family.

Lauren Irwin
Team GB women's 8 rower and alumna

Watch videos with our hockey Olympians

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Fiona Crackles (women's hockey squad)

Fiona graduated this summer and has been catapulted straight into the Paris 2024 Olympics. Watch a Team Durham interview with her at the end of her first year at Durham to gain insights into how she experienced sport here.

A record year for sport at Durham

University and College level sport is thriving, but don't just take our word for it! Delve into our news articles, read our student blogs and check out Team Durham's social media.

Record-breaking season for sport at Durham

Our student sports clubs have achieved an all-time University record by winning 13 BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) national championships this season.
A group of men in a swimming pool celebrating

A family affair: talking rugby with student Max Pepper

Max was selected to play for the England Students rugby squad in May when they faced France Universities. We spoke to him to find out more about his passion for rugby.
Headshot of Max Pepper

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"The facilities at Maiden Castle are pretty special. It’s a pretty good set-up there and something athletes need for strength and conditioning, and physical fitness. You can’t really get much better. The sports staff and coaches have been brilliant as well."

Max Pepper

Professional rugby player for Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club and alumnus


"Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would win four National Championships in one year, and be part of a wider team breaking its all-time BUCS Championship record. It just goes to show how Team Durham fosters a culture of excellence."

Ryan Dickson

Durham volleyball, baseball, and MBA postgraduate and sports scholar, St Cuthbert’s Society


"Being able to train everyday with such a talented group has really helped me to continue to develop both as a player and a leader. So much so that I received my first England Lacrosse senior cap in April and was very grateful to receive Sportswoman of the Year at the University’s Palatinate Awards off the back of this at the start of June."

Lizzie Rutherford

Durham lacrosse, Geography student, Collingwood College 


Explore the latest sports news

Quadruple representation for Durham in Team GB hockey squad

Three Durham alumni and a graduating student have been selected for the men’s and women’s Team GB hockey squads ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.
Lots of flags from around the world with teh Paris 2024 logo at the right hand side

Record-breaking season for sport at Durham

Our student sports clubs have achieved an all-time record for the University by winning 13 BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) national championships this season.


Our sporting community

Our student and alumni athletes regularly hit the headlines for a wide variety of sports. They also engage with the wider Durham community to inform and inspire, with initiatives ranging from local primary schools to audiences around the globe. 

Read on for a snapshot of the sporting activity undertaken.

Our students

Double world championship win

Student Josh Waddell has become double world champion at the U23 Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in Thailand.
Headshot of event speaker, Josh

Durham players in England hockey squad

Undergraduates Scarlett Spavin and Lizzy Pocknell were goalscorers for England Women's U21 Hockey World Cup in Chile.
Scarlett Spavin and Lizzy Pocknell

Introducing our first Esports Hub

Our new Esports Hub in the Sports & Wellbeing Park at Maiden Park provides a purpose-built space for practising, competing and coming together.
A smiling female gamer sitting in front of a computer game

Our alumni

Representing Great Britain & Northern Ireland

Alumnus Callum Elson was selected for Team GB & NI for the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March.
Photo of Callum Elson, Durham alumnus

Twice-round-the-world triathlon

In January 2023, 33 Durham alumni embarked on a year-long challenge to run, cycle or swim a total of 80,150km in memory of two fellow students.
Three men wearing cyling gear smiling at the camera

Developing a high-performance mindset

This Durham Global Week event hosted a panel of outstanding Durham community members, including alumna Katharine Ford and student Josh Waddell.
Five Headshots of the host and speakers for this event

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Read more from our students

Read about sport at Durham in our students' own words, and explore the wider sporting social media community. 

Student blog highlights

Beyond the lecture theatre: exploring Durham's sports scene

Third year Earth Sciences student Isabel explains how sport has shaped her time at Durham at both College and University level.

College sport - Hill v Bailey

Final year Geography undergraduate Tanisha delves into the details of College sport, and how Hill and Bailey Colleges cater for their student sports teams.
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Inspiring the extraordinary

Our transformative wider student experience helps students develop team working and leadership capabilities.

We’re consistently ranked within the top three British universities for sport and were named as Sports University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023. Sport is at the core of Durham student life, and a huge range of sporting opportunities is available, from joining College teams to competing at University level and beyond.

Learn more about sport at Durham