Sports At Oxford
Active at Oxford is our campaign to encourage all students, staff and local community members to be active and healthy whilst they are engaged with the University. This page, and our Q&As, will take you through everything that makes up sport and physical activity at the University and everything that contributes to #ActiveAtOxford:
- University Sports Clubs
- Health and Fitness Facilities
- College and Inter-College Activities
- Performance Sport – The Blues Performance Scheme
For more information about the #ActiveAtOxford campaign visit our website.
University Sports Clubs
Health and Fitness Facilities
Student sports clubs
College and Inter-College Sport
Sport is embedded in the culture of Oxford colleges, large or small, and is a great opportunity to meet new people and get active. This can range from taking part in fitness classes, representing your college in an inter-college league or cheering for your college’s teams at matches.
There are inter-college leagues in lots of sports, as well as ‘Cuppers’, which is usually a knockout-style competition or a one-off event. These competitions give everyone the chance to compete with and against their peers whilst representing their College in their sport of choice. There is something for everyone to take part in with traditional sports having lower divisions that are more focused on fun, such as mixed netball, and higher divisions which are slightly more competitive. You could also take the opportunity to try something less mainstream such as participating in the cheerleading or pistol cuppers.
If you are looking for something more casual, then you will find different activities ranging from 5-a-side football to yoga being held either at the College or in a nearby facilities. These activities will vary depending on the college and are determined by the JCR and MCR so there is always the possibility to suggest an activity to your common room’s sports representative.
College sports facilities come in different shape and sizes with many colleges having a gym with basic equipment or access to the Iffley Road sports complex. You can challenge friends at table tennis or pool in common rooms and enjoy the use of squash and tennis courts at some colleges as well playing fields for College sports clubs training and matches.
Speak to the College(s) you are interested in attending to find out more about sport at that college. For information on inter-college activities in a specific sport visit: www.sport.ox.ac.uk/sports-a-to-z
Blues Performance Scheme
The Blues Performance Scheme supports high performance teams and individual athletes at Oxford University to improve their long-term performance in sport whilst balancing their academic commitments.
Support Offered – Performance Athletes
All selected performance athletes will receive the following support: -
- Weekly strength and conditioning training (small groups or 1:1)
- 1:1 nutrition support
- 1:1 sports psychology support
- Recognition as a performance athlete and promotion of success
- Access to fundamental support - fitness classes, subsidised injury treatment
Support Offered – Performance Teams
Performance teams, once selected, may get access to the following areas of support:
- Weekly strength and conditioning sessions (in your team)
- Team nutrition support
- Team sports psychology support
- Recognition as a performance team and promotion of success
- Access to fundamental support - fitness classes, subsidised injury treatment and subsidised additional nutrition and psychology sessions
For more information: www.sport.ox.ac.uk/performance
Clubs and Societies
One of the many myths about Oxford is that there is no time to have fun. Alongside your college community you will be able to develop your interests, old or new, through over 400 clubs and societies, many of them University-wide. Taking part in extra-curricular activities is not only lots of fun and great for your social life but will help you build skills which will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life and help with your career goals. So if you'd like to get involved in journalism, music, drama, volunteering or campaigning, there is something for everyone. Find out more on our Do what you love page.
Just a few of the clubs and societies you can get involved in:
Oxford Nightline is a completely independent listening, support and information service run for and by students of Oxford and Oxford Brookes universities.
Bacchus Wine Society
The Bacchus Wine Society holds wine tasting and social events throughout term time. Find out more.
Oxford Pharmacology Society
The Oxford University Pharmacology Society offers a networking platform and organise talks of pharmacological and scientific interest. Visit their website here.
The Clydeside Project
The Clydeside Project offers free, online mentoring to Scottish students by current students at Oxford and Cambridge. Watch this video of an Oxford member here:
Oxford Yacht Club
Oxford University Yacht Club is the home of all things sailing at Oxford University. We have competitive dinghy and yachting squads and send teams to various keelboating events throughout the year.
The Dinghy teams spend most weekends sailing, either training at our local Farmoor Reservoir or competing at events around the country. Term-time training is complemented by a weeks’ preseason before Michaelmas – a great opportunity to get to know Oxford before being thrown into freshers’ week! The Yachting teams train 3-4 weekends per term and crew members participate in numerous inshore and offshore racing events, including the Yachting BUCS league, our annual Yachting Varsity Match against Cambridge and the Fastnet Race, one of the classic offshore races.
Our keelboating activities include a successful Etchells team participating in the Etchells Youth Academy, and different teams competing at a range of events in J70s, Elliotts and many more - we even send teams to China to sail J80s! The annual Dinghy Varsity Match is also in keelboats, held every year in different boats at a new, coastal venue.
Our squads welcome a range of abilities, from previous national champions, to sailors with no experience in competitive racing. Sailing is the perfect escape from the ‘Oxford Bubble’ and a great way to make friends outside of college.
Oxford Swimming Club
Founded in 1892, Oxford University Swimming Club is the university’s competitive swimming team. Swimming is one of the few Full Blue sports at Oxford and so has a prestigious status in the sporting scene. OUSC is made up of two teams, both of whom compete against Cambridge in the annual Varsity Match (which pre-dates the modern Olympics).
The Cortex Club connects students with world-leading neuroscientists through educational forums dealing with cutting-edge topics and significant challenges in neuroscience. Visit their website.
Oxford University Drama Society
OUDS is the home of student theatre at Oxford, both overseeing and funding theatrical productions at the University.
Oxford University Media Society
The Media Society work to connect Oxford students to the global media industry, hosting talks with world-class speakers, networking events and skills-based workshops.
Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society
The Oxford LGBTQ+ Society is the second largest society at the University and the largest higher education LGBTQ+ Society in the country. We are a welfare society with our aim to cater to all our students’ needs, whatever those may be.
Oxford University Orchestra
Oxford University Orchestra are the flagship ensemble of the Oxford University Music Society, and our instrumentalists are selected from the very best the University has to offer.
Kite Oxford-Nairobi Society
The Kite Oxford-Nairobi Society contributes towards innovation in development in collaboration with NGOs. Find out more.
Oxford University English Society
Oxford Islamic Society
The Oxford Islamic Society, is a student-run body that serves as the focal point for Muslims in Oxford, hosting different activities, services and events to engage and bring together the Muslim community in Oxford. You can view their prospectus and the most recent edition of the OUI Magazine.
Oxford Morris Dancing
Oxford University Morris (OUM) is a friendly mixed-gender morris side performing Cotswold morris dances in Oxford and beyond. You can visit their website and watch the video below of them dancing.
Oxford University Jazz Society
The Oxford University Jazz Orchestra is the university’s premier big band, bringing together jazz musicians into one ensemble to perform modern, demanding, exciting big band jazz to the highest level of musical excellence. Find out more and listen to their music on Spotify.
Oxford University Society of Change Ringers
The Oxford Society of Change Ringers was established in 1734. We are based at the Cathedral Church of Christ where its members ring for Sunday services as well as practising there twice a month. Find out more.
Oxford Physics Society
The Oxford Physics Society welcomes anyone who is interested in physics, its applications, and physics-related topics. Running events, including talks and socials throughout term time.
Oxford Welsh Society
Cymdeithas Dafydd ap Gwilym is the Oxford University Welsh Society. It holds a range of activities and events for the Welsh population of Oxford in both Welsh and English. Here Adam explains more about the society:
The Oxford Psychedelic Society organises talks and events on medical research and public policy in psychopharmacology and psychedelic culture. View their Trinity and Michaelmas term cards to get an idea of the events they run.