Team Durham Celebrate with New Lord Mayor of London
(13 November 2019)
This weekend, around 30 of our leading sports students were invited to participate in the Lord Mayor’s Show 2019, celebrating the inauguration of alumnus William Russell (General Arts, Grey College, 1987) as the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Sport is in Durham’s DNA and this has been a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our past and the present. As ever, our students and staff have felt a tremendous sense of community as we worked together with our alumni to celebrate sport at Durham and William’s extraordinary achievement. We feel a great sense of pride for all of what William has accomplished, the fact that he holds Durham so close to his heart and that he wanted our student athletes to be part of the Parade.
Leading out our sports stars this year was second-year Geography student, Charlotte Frazer (Geography, St Mary’s College) who plays Netball for the University. She is also our ‘Russell Scholar’, supported through her studies by a scholarship linked to the University’s developing Durham Inspired campaign. Charlotte joined the 2019/20 President of Team Durham, Hannah Knowles, and Head of Sport and Physical Activity, Mark Brian, alongside all of our incredible young sports ambassadors.
Durham’s entry in the Show marked a celebration of the University’s successes in both participation and high performance within the sporting arena. We are proud to say that over 75% of our students are involved in sports and physical activity across our colleges and at university level, competing in diverse activities from the traditions of Rugby, Hockey, Cricket and Rowing through to newer entrants of Ultimate Frisbee and Cheerleading.
We have recently invested £32M into the development of a new Sports and Wellbeing Park for students and the local community, and our newest academic unit is the Department of Sports and Exercise Science.
Currently the top Team Sports university in the UK, Durham is a place where exceptional global talent is nurtured and both national and international greats emerge. Household names within the ranks of our alumni, include stars such as Sophie Hosking, Sir Andrew Strauss, Will Greenwood, Nasser Hussain, Ollie Phillips, and former England rugby captain Will Carling. We value and celebrate their hard-won achievements while at Durham and beyond. It lives on in the friendships and connections that began here and continue to endure, making them part of a lifelong global community of extraordinary Durham people.
The Lord Mayor’s Show (or Procession) is an historic institution in its own right, being held through times of peace and war for over 800 years. This year’s ceremony consisted of around 6000 participants, with 500,000 spectators along the route joined by millions watching on TV and online around the world. William and Hilary - also an alumna (Natural Sciences, St Mary’s College, 1987) - who met during their time at Durham follow Peter and Lindy Estlin into Mansion House who are themselves parents and supporters of our own Hatfield College.
We believe William and Hilary to be the first Lord and Lady Mayoress alumni couple in the history of Durham and 2019 to be the first year that the University has ever participated in the parade, though we look forward to any corrections alumni and friends can offer!