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SportIt isn’t all rowing and rugby at Oxford. You can play for fun, try a new sport or just get fit. But, if you want to represent the University, you have the chance to join a rich tradition and some very competitive teams. The University’s top athletes gain the status of ‘Blue’ – an accolade that stems from the first boat race in 1829, when Cambridge tied light blue ribbons to their boat and Oxford adopted Christ Church’s dark blue.

Sport and exercise enhance student life for everyone. Whether you want to play in a serious team or a less serious one, or you just enjoy running, swimming, cycling or other sports by yourself, you will find what you are looking for here.


You have the use of some of the best sporting facilities of any university, on three main sites:

  • Iffley Road sports complex is where many clubs train and compete; it boasts a fitness gym, an all-weather running track, an Olympic-standard hockey pitch, a 25-metre swimming pool, rowing tank, cricket school, sports hall and dojo, along with provision for Association football, lawn tennis and rugby.
  • University Parks sports grounds is where the cricketers play – the only place in Britain where spectators can watch first-class cricket for free.
  • Marston Road sports ground and it's clubhouse are used by many of the women's teams

Most of the colleges have facilities of their own, from squash courts and fitness suites to boathouses, cricket pitches and lively clubhouses. All these grounds form a network of green spaces across the city.

Playing competitively

Oxford is currently ranked in the top British universities for sport thanks to our talented students. As well as the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) championships and other tournaments, there are inter-university competitions and college leagues.

The University’s Sports Federation

The University’s Sports Federation helps to run more than 80 clubs - including traditional sports, new and esoteric activities, and everything in between - for anyone from the interested beginner to the international athlete.

Sports clubs include:

Aikido, American football, Athletics, Aussie rules, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Boats, Boxing Canoes and kayaks, Caving, Cheerleading, Company of Archers, Cricket, Croquet, Cross-country, Cycling, Dancesport, Eton fives, Fencing, Floorball, Football, Gaelic games, Gliding, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Ice hockey, Jitsu, Judo, Karate, Karate KDS, Kendo, Kickboxing, Korfball, Kung Fu, Lacrosse, Lawn tennis, Lifesaving, Lightweight rowing, Modern pentathlon, Motor drivers, Mountaineering, Netball, Orienteering, Pistol, Polo, Pool, Powerlifting, Punting, Rackets, Real tennis, Riding, Rifle, Rowing clubs, Rugby fives, Rugby league, Rugby union, Shorinji kempo, Ski and snowboard, Squash racquets, Sulkido, Surfing, Swimming, Table tennis, Taekwon-do, Tai chi, Trampolining, Triathlon, Ultimate Frisbee, Underwater exploration, Volleyball, Walking, Waterpolo, Windsurfing, Wrestling, Yachts