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Team Durham’s Vice President on student-led sport

Sport has defined my time at Durham University. Although I have graduated with a Geography degree, it will be my memories of playing university football and college cricket at Durham that I will cherish the most.

Through sport I have been able to take on a number of different positions of responsibility, such as both Club Captain and treasurer of the University Men’s Football Club, and Club Captain of St Aidan’s College Cricket Club. I have also been Vice President of Team Durham for the past two years, and have assisted the administration of the college cricket leagues as the College Cricket Officer.  I feel that all these experiences have given me a diverse and rounded understanding of both university and college sport, which will stand me in good stead for my new role as Team Durham President next academic year.

Though I now have a vast amount of experiences of being involved in the management of different clubs or the administration of the student sport programme, I actually stumbled by chance into my first role as Club Captain of DUAFC. Initially I had no intention of running for the position, yet I was persuaded to stand by my predecessor, Kyri, the night before the club was due to hold our AGM. In hindsight, I am truly grateful to Kyri for pushing me to take on the role because, without him, I would not be in the same position that I am in now. I would encourage every student to do the same: to seize opportunities to get involved in the executive committees of the clubs or societies which they are involved in as I found it to be a truly enjoyable and valuable experience. I am very much looking forward to continuing my involvement in student sport next year in a full time capacity.

Personally, I would not consider myself an elite sportsman. I am a competent goalkeeper for the university’s 2nd XI, and bowl right arm military mediums in my college cricket team. For me, the most important aspect of sport at Durham is that there are opportunities for anyone and everyone to get involved. At the elite end of the spectrum Durham University has secured second place in the BUCS points table for the fifth successive year, yet at the same time the college sport programme must be one of the largest in the country with over seven thousand students participating in twenty-five sports.

To put this into context, the University Men’s Football Club only have two teams, yet a further seventy-six sides compete in the college football leagues. In recent years DUAFC have enjoyed remarkable success; on the back of three successive promotions into the top division the 1st XI won the Premier North for the first time since 1956. I believe that much of this success can be attributed to the strength of the college sport system because, every year, we recruit the best college players to supplement our ranks.

I believe that Durham offers an unequalled wider student experience because every student is provided with ample opportunity to get involved in sport. The university is unique because its students are able to combine attaining an excellent degree with an unparalleled student sport programme.

Watch a short film of Team Durham’s 2016 Sports round-up


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