Colleges gear up for 15/16 season

The following is an article provided by Palatinate.

By Sophie Bingham

Featuring an astonishing 25 sports, the 2015/16 College Sport programme is set to be something quite special. From volleyball to futsal, netball to indoor cricket, mixed lacrosse to tennis, there really is something for everyone. We enter the season with College Sport in a great place. The sixteen College Sport Officers are already jostling for position whilst working to support your sporting pursuits at all levels. Collingwood, Hatfield and Grey have particular reputations to uphold having performed exceptionally on the field, court, track and water throughout 2014/15.

Looking forward, it’s over to you. It’s all to play for… With 92 football teams, 47 netball teams, 34 hockey teams and 29 rugby teams, it isn’t hard to see the strength in depth of this marvellous programme. Our Head of Sport, Quentin Sloper, always refers to College Sport as ‘the jewel in the crown’ and with nearly 8,000 College Sport students contributing to a collective student participation rate of over 70%, it is easy to see why! This year more than 600 diligent captains will be mobilising their personnel for those weekly fixtures. Also helping to maintain the quality of the programme are many of our university clubs who do an excellent job in supporting such diverse delivery. They too are extremely proud of Durham’s unique College Sport history.

February will see the best of our college programme travel to York University, the singular aim being to defend our Varsity title. The opportunity to represent Durham on the wider stage is always a situation in which our college teams thrive; we certainly hope that the upcoming Varsity will prove no different. We are growing Durham’s sporting participation agenda in every way possible – keep an eye out for one off events in handball, mini tennis, golf and dodgeball. The season will culminate in early June at our showcase event, the annual and eagerly anticipated College Festival of Sport. I sincerely hope that the Festival is a celebration of our collective sporting successes. I wish the very best of luck to each and every one of you donning your college shirt this season. As I said, it’s all to play for.

Photograph: Simon Carey