New Year – New You | University of Oxford

New Year – New You

Have you promised yourself that you’ll try something new this year? We asked you to share details of social clubs you enjoy with colleagues looking for a new challenge, or who just want to try something different. Below are details of the activities you have sent over.


Oxford University Sports Clubs

Many of the University’s sports clubs are open to staff and community members as well as students*. With more than 80 University sports clubs on offer there is something for everyone. If you are unsure if a club is open to staff or community members please visit the A to Z of clubs or email the Sports Federation.

  • When/where the club meets: varied (dependant on sport but predominantly in Oxford)
  • Costs: varied (dependant on sport)
  • How to find out more: visit A to Z of clubs or email the Sports Federation

*Sports clubs with activity focused on student-only competitions are generally not open to staff and community members.

Fitness Classes – Oxford University Sport

A wide array of group exercise classes are available through Oxford University Sport. The fitness class timetable has more than 20 classes a week in multiple styles from beginners pilates and yoga to Les Mills Bodypump © and Stages Indoor Cycling ©. Classes are inclusive of all ability levels and are available to students, staff and members of the public

  • When/where club meets: Iffley Road Sports Centre
  • Costs: £5 per class (memberships and multi-class passes also available)
  • Find out more:

New Fitness Class Membership – Oxford University Sport

Just interested in fitness classes rather than a full gym membership? The new Fitness Class Membership gives you unlimited access* to all classes on the weekly timetable. This offer can be bought as a direct debit for £25 p/m or as an Activity Pass for 2019 (valid until 31/12/19) for £250.

Get your membership now by visiting the Oxford University Sport website or emailing

*Access is subject to available spaces on classes, spaces must be booked online or via reception


North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club (staff discount offer)

Run by a committee of members for the benefit of its members, the club offers its members a range of facilities and events including a varied programme of social tennis and tournaments, an active programme of junior coaching and events, and competitive league team tennis. It has nine hard floodlit courts and ten grass courts. All standards of players are welcome from beginners and social players to competitive league and TT national players. The club offers a 10% discount to new members who are University employees.

Oxford City Lawn Tennis Club

Social play and women/men/mixed doubles matches

Yarnton Netball Club

Based in Yarnton, but keen to encourage new members from the surrounding areas, the club has two teams playing in divisions 1 and 4. Train just for fun or to play competitively. Complete starters welcomed.

  • When/where club meets: every Tuesday 7.30pm to 9pm on the court at the Playing Fields on Rutten Lane in Yarnton
  • Costs: first three training sessions are free. Annual membership  £110 (1 September – 31 August)
  • Find out more: email or check out Facebook page ‘Yarnton Netball Club’

Headington RoadRunners

A friendly running club open to everyone regardless of their pace.

  • When/where club meets: Our main club night is Thursday, 7pm at Oxsrad, Marsh Lane, Marston. We have runs on Mondays, Intervals on Tuesdays, Track sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and long runs at the weekends. In March, we run a beginners couch to 5k.
  • Costs: around £25 a year for membership (plus EA affiliation if you want to race)
  • Find out more: or email

Cowley Road Condors Cycling Club

Regular club rides every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Week-night rides are usually divided into social, medium and fast paced groups. The social rides are a great opportunity to build up the miles at a relaxed pace, whereas the fast rides are a real challenge to even the strongest riders.

Becca Curtis Yoga

Functional Yoga - integrating down-to-earth and dogma-free philosophy, dynamic class that emphasises self-acceptance and body confidence. Suitable for physically fit beginners and improvers, curious yoga practitioners from any discipline and those looking to address issues of hypermobility. 

  • When/where club meets: Wednesday 6pm to 7.30pm, Wood Farm Primary School, OX3 8QQ
  • Costs: details on website
  • Find out more:

Abingdon Hockey Club

Field hockey team for a variety of abilities and ages. Male/female/mixed/and junior teams (Under 8s, Under 10s, and Under 12s) 

  • When/where club meets: training at Tilsley Park, Abingdon for adults on Tuesday nights from 7pm; Junior training on Sunday’s at 10am. Matches on Saturdays and/ or Sundays
  • Costs: first few sessions are free to try then an annual cost of £80 for new players
  • Find out more: contact or visit

Oxford Softball League

Mixed sex (or co-ed) slow pitch softball is a social team sport, played by teams made up of 5 men and 5 women. The game is a lot like baseball except the ball is thrown (pitched) underarm slowly to a batter. It’s a fun and easy game to learn and play even for those that don’t have much (or any) experience at team sports. 

  • When/where club meets: season starts in April with practices and games taking place on Tuesday evenings at 7pm at the new Oxford Sports Park
  • Costs: Oxford teams typically have annual subscriptions of £30-50 – all necessary equipment can be borrowed from the league.
  • Find out more:

Music and dance

Balfolk dancing

Balfolk is a variety of modern and traditional dances to folk music of continental Europe – it’s big in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal with a growing Balfolk dance scene in Oxford. Balfolk is folky and graceful and the steps are simple, allowing the chance to riff off the basics and be as expressive as you feel. 

  • When/where club meets: Clandestine Mazurkas are one-off informal events which offer a short workshop at the beginning so new dancers can learn simple basic steps.
  • Costs: free social events
  • Find out more: events promoted on Facebook – ‘Balfolk Oxford’ or email to sign up to the mailing list 

Banbury Operatic Society

Friendly, welcoming, amateur dramatics society which was founded in 1961. Welcomes new members, performing and non-performing. When not enjoying lively social get-togethers the group can be found hard at work rehearsing the next production – often performed at Wykham Theatre or Banbury Academy. 

  • When/where club meets: Monday and Wednesday evening at 7.30pm to 9.45pm
  • Costs: £60 a year for a performing membership. Lower rate for non-performing members (back stage, dressers, sound, lights, front of house)
  • Find out more: visit the 'Membership' section of the main site

Oxford International Folk Dance Group

Dances from around the world. Beginners welcome and teaching, as needed, included in the programme. 

  • When/where club meets: Wednesdays from 8.15pm to 10.00 p.m, St. Giles Church Hall, Woodstock Road
  • Costs: £4 per evening
  • Find out more: - contact name: Colin Hersom

Books and Writing

Rebel Book Club (Oxford)

Learn about a new topic each month by reading a non-fiction book, then discuss it over a cocktail with fellow book club members at the end of the month. Previous books include: Turning the Tide on Plastic by Lucy Siegle, The Secret Barrister, This is Marketing by Seth Godin and Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

  • When/where club meets: club members meet on the last Tuesday of each month, from 7pm to 9pm, at Angels’ Cocktail Bar on Little Clarendon Street
  • Costs: £15 per month – this includes the cost of the book, and a free cocktail at the monthly meet up
  • Find out more:

The Oxford Writing Circle

Friendly group welcomes all kinds of writers, abilities and genres – from aspiring authors to veterans with a list of publications already under their belt. Group mainly comprises fiction writers, but includes poets, playwrights, and non-fiction writers. Most meetups are feedback events – members sign up in advance to read their work to the group and receive constructive feedback. ‘Anonymous’ versions are also run for people who would like feedback but don’t want to stand up and read. Special events and talks are also arranged.


Contact the Elderly – Oxford

Would you enjoy making a real difference to the lives of local elderly people by helping to make them feel part of their community again? This charity is looking for drivers to help out one Sunday afternoon a month, hosts to cater for a tea party at their own home once a year and volunteers to attend a tea party once a month.  

Volunteers collect local elderly people, aged from 75 to 100+, and drive them to a tea party at the home of a host volunteer once a month. These outings make a huge difference to isolated people, giving them something fun to look forward to. Nationally, 6,250 elderly people are now attending these events.

If you would like to add details of a social activity to this list please send the details over to