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College Sports Day – Festival of Sport

College sport at Durham University is one of the largest intra-mural sports programmes in the UK, with over 550 teams competing regularly in over 60 leagues of 23 sports. The programme culminates each year in the Festival of Sport,  being held today at Maiden Castle sports complex.

Annual sporting celebration

 This annual event attracts over 2,000 students on the day, and caters for all levels of competition – meaning that there is an opportunity to participate for any student who would like to join in. Kicking off at 9am, the day aims to promote sport in an inclusive and enjoyable way, whilst also raising money for our chosen charity – Sport in Action Zambia. Last year we raised over £3,000 for charity, and we are hoping that with this year being the biggest ever competition we can raise even more!

 Sport in Colleges

Durham University is unique in its college sporting structure. While students are taught by academic departments, being in one of the sixteen current colleges give many students an immediate identity from the moment they arrive in Durham. Throughout their time here, each student remains part of their college, and forming strong allegiances to it. The intramural sports system here is based around ‘college points’. For each match or competition, athletes are able to earn their college points to go toward the year’s league table.

Fierce but friendly rivalry

However, it is not just high-level sport that we want to promote. College sport aims to provide opportunities for everyone to participate at any level of their sport (so much so that Collingwood are entering 19 football teams into the Festival of Sport this year!).

The competition between colleges can be pretty fierce, but this rivalry is based upon good-natured sports competition. There are often pairs of colleges with long-standing rivalries – for example, Grey & Collingwood are two of the largest hill colleges and are often found heading up the college league table. They now have an annual varsity day, in addition to the college programme, to see who will be crowned ‘King of the Hill’. With Grey running out as winners this year, Collingwood will be looking to exact some revenge today!

Top of the Colleges league

Undoubtedly, the college to beat today will be Collingwood, who head the league table by an impressive 1,500 points already, and look set to become the first college ever to break the 5,000 point barrier at the end of the year. However, there are plenty of points up for grabs for all colleges involved and they may well prove decisive in the final points table as colleges look to move up the rankings.

Come down to play & support your college on what’s set to be a fantastic day!


Josh Males

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