Oxford University sport
Swimmer at Rosenblatt pool, Oxford University Sport, Oxford, UK.
Copyright © Greg Smolonski . This image comes from Oxford University Images - All rights reserved.


Do you want to enjoy a sport you love, try something new or keep active? No problem. At Oxford, you will have the chance to play for fun, play for your college or compete for the University. Or maybe you just want to keep active, fit and healthy? Multiple college and University facilities and Oxford’s beautiful green spaces make this easy.

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.

If you enjoy sport, the collegiate system of the University is ideal. Students of absolutely any ability can get involved in college sport in some form, and if you’re good there are always the Blues teams (the University-wide sporting teams) which compete with other universities.


Sport in a nutshell

The University has: 

  • over 80 sports clubs to choose from
  • relaxed competitions between colleges
  • an annual Varsity series (against Cambridge University)
  • an extensive University sports centre that is accessible to all students from all colleges
  • British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) fixtures, leagues and championships
  • casual physical activity and great value fitness offers through your college or at the Iffley Road Sports Centre
  • college facilities including: squash courts, gyms, boathouses, football pitches, cricket pitches and lively clubhouses
  • affordable through subsidies and student pricing

Make History by Earning a Blue

As part of a University Varsity team, you can earn the coveted status of Full Blue or Half Blue, like many sportsmen and sportswomen who have studied at Oxford. Read more about Oxford University Blues.


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

  • Iffley Road Sports Centre is where many clubs train and compete. It boasts:

    • indoor and outdoor gyms
    • a classes studio
    • an all-weather running track
    • a water-based hockey pitch
    • a 25-metre swimming pool
    • a rowing tank
    • an indoor cricket centre
    • two full size sports halls
    • a dojo
    • along with provision for association football, tennis - grass and clay court, squash, rugby union, eton fives and rugby fives.
  • University Parks sports grounds is where many grass-based sports play – with pitches for cricket, association football, rugby union, rugby league and lacrosse.

  • Marston Road sports ground and clubhouse is another area for grass pitches and regularly hosts football, cricket and rugby fixtures.

Many colleges also 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.

Active at Oxford

Whether it’s going for a walk to take a break from your studies or keeping up your individual training to take your place in the starting XV at Twickenham for the famous Varsity Match, everyone can get active at Oxford.

Our #ActiveAtOxford campaign is designed to help you get involved in sport and physical activity, no matter how seriously or casually you wish to take it.

A growing body of research is highlighting the many benefits that getting active has, from mental health, through to life expectancy and even academic performance.

We want to spread the simple message that physical activity really is for everyone. So, whether you have ambitions of becoming a Full Blue, or simply want to make some positive lifestyle choices, we want to help everyone at Oxford enjoy getting active and experience the many benefits that come along with doing so.

Find out more on the Active at Oxford landing page.

The Sports Federation

The University’s Sports Federation supports more than 80 clubs at the University - from traditional sports to emerging activities, and everything in between - for anyone from the interested beginner to the international athlete. Support includes professional guidance, funding, facility allocations and administration, which is given recognised University sports clubs. 

The Sports Federation also delivers the Blues Performance Scheme, which provides strength and conditioning, nutrition, psychology and injury treatment to our highest performing teams and individual student athletes.

The Varsity Series is a big part of the annual calendar for those clubs that are competitive. The Sports Federation supports the Varsity Series, which is run by clubs and their student committees, through administration, logistics and promotion.

If you have any questions about sports clubs at Oxford visit our Sports A to Z and email the club you are interested in via the page for that sport, or if all else fails email [email protected] and we’ll put you in touch with the club you are interested in.