“So what makes Hild Bede different?”

The following is an article provided by Palatinate.

hild bede logo- george mcnellyIn recent months, many colleges have concentrated their efforts on re-branding and marketing for social media, to good effect.

Palatinate, only last week, explored Durham colleges’ forays into the world of intercollegiate sport. Featuring heavily were brightly coloured crests and Team ‘x’ imagery – so what makes ‘Team Hild Bede’ different?

Hild Bede has the largest undergraduate population of any college in the University; not to mention its sixteen acres of parkland. Inevitably, the college has a rich sporting history, and its students are known for their extra-curricular prowess: be it on the field, river, or stage.

The College of the Venerable Bede (est. 1839), and St. Hild’s College (est. 1858), were initially established separately as teacher training colleges with a strong emphasis on physical education. Bede College Cricket Club was established in the 1860s. Soon after followed rugby and rowing, with St. Hild’s even allowing croquet and lawn tennis to thrive.

In recent years, Durham has seen Hild Bede conquer in a diverse range of sports. From overall college champions in 2010/11, to promotions and victories for HBAFC, Hild Bede has a lot to boast about. In a composite crew, Hild Bede Boat Club’s Men’s 1st VIII, joined by Cuth’s 1st VIII, qualified 2nd fastest in Henley’s Temple Challenge Cup 2015 – winning the right to compete against the University of Virginia later in the week. The college has a strong focus on Womens’ sports: from HB Cheer’s all-women squad finishing 3rd of all colleges, to HBWAFC ‘The Mooses’ defending their title at the top of their league.

The ‘Team Hild Bede difference’ is achieved through our pride and inclusion of all clubs and societies, from sports to the arts. The college is incredibly proud of its student theatre society, HBT, winning ‘Best College Musical’ for the fifth year running. Multiple performances are held throughout the year in the college’s Caedmon Hall. Team Hild Bede is musically diverse: a new Music Society occupies the space between Choral Scholarships and ‘Full Collapse’, Durham’s best-known heavy metal and rock night. Bede Film Society boasts Durham’s only 240-seat cinema, and at over 50 years old is one of our most beloved and illustrious student organisations.

While ‘Team Hild Bede’ is the brainchild of College President George McNeilly, the rebrand owes much to executive committee members, such as Gabriel Fidler (Postgraduate President) and Beccy Hodson (Publicity Officer). Ferdous Aolad, Hild Bede’s Clubs and Societies Officer noted that: “Team HB has an immensely wide range of opportunities available for students to get involved with college, socialise, compete at various levels, and pursue sporting/non-sporting passions.”

You don’t just come to university to get a degree, but to make the most of opportunities at hand. Our new rounders team, the ‘Hild Bede Daisies’, took division one by storm and were promoted to the premiership in their first season. It’s a scheme based on success, something Hild Bede hasn’t been short of in recent years, and suggests a bright future for college participation and engagement.

The Launch week promises to establish the Team HB brand effectively, with a full eight days of fixtures and activities promising to rally the troops and provide some top quality entertainment. Major fixtures include HBWAFC vs. Stephenson (21st November, 2.30pm KO, Racecourse); Bede RFC vs. Grey A in a floodlit Sunday evening game (22nd Nov, 8.30pm KO, Maiden Castle), and HBAFC vs. Stephenson in a floodlit cup encounter (25th November, 8.15pm KO, Maiden Castle). To round things off is an obligatory performance from HBT, who will be presenting their Fresher’s play House of Dracula (26th – 28th November, Caedmon Hall), and a showing of ‘Straight Outta Compton’ from Bede Film Soc (29th November, Caedmon Hall). Attendance at selected events will be recorded, with Hild Bede SRC donating, per head, to a charity of the students’ choice. If that’s not enough, college mascot Bedo Bear will almost certainly make an appearance. A link with Klute has also been mentioned: it’d be rude not to.

In 2016, Hild Bede celebrates its 175th year of teaching. We can’t think of a better way to begin than by celebrating our students, and the diverse and successful organisations of which they are all a part.

“It often feels like college spirit only manifests itself around sports: it’s great that now it can come forth in all aspects of student activity.” – Oli Rake, Hild Bede SRC Chair

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Image: George McNeilly