Sport | University of Oxford
Undergraduate sports
Members of the Oxford University Korfball Club have a team talk during a match.
(credit: Oxford University Korfball Club)


Everyone can enjoy sport or exercise as part of their student life at Oxford.  You can play for fun, try something new or just keep fit. 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’. This 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.


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 its 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 among the top British universities for sport thanks to coaching and student commitment. 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.

Beth Wild, former President, Oxford University Sports Federation, talks about sport at Oxford.

A map showing the location of the Iffley Road Sports Complex.