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Our student sports clubs have achieved an all-time record for the University by winning 13 BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) national championships this season.

13 – not always an unlucky number

In numerous cultures around the world, the number 13 represents bad luck. Team Durham, uniting all our student sport clubs, however, is celebrating their latest ‘13’.

This season, 13 teams from 11 student sports clubs achieved a long sought-after result of winning 13 BUCS national championship titles after a spell of consistently achieving 12 wins. This comes on top of 11 BUCS Gold Medal winners, marking a record-breaking season for sport at Durham.

Beach Volleyball for the win

On Saturday 11 May, our women’s Futsal (5-a-side indoor football) first team brought the number of BUCS wins up to 12, equalising previous seasons. The pressure was now on for teams competing in subsequent championships.

With everything to play for, the women’s Beach Volleyball first team tackled the challenge head-on in Bournemouth on Friday 7 June, coming away victorious and helping Team Durham and the University to make history.

Alex Zimaras, Team Durham President comments: “On four previous occasions (including last year) we got to 12 championships, but just falling short to get an ‘unlucky’ 13th. We worked closely with our competing clubs to put them in the best possible position to compete at the highest level. On Friday 7 June we achieved this record by winning the Women’s Beach Volleyball down in Bournemouth. A huge well done to all the students, coaches and staff who put in hours of work to make this happen.”

“I’m extremely honoured to have been Team’s Durham President over the last two years, and couldn’t be more proud of our student clubs, who have produced the most successful period in our history, in both National Championships and Gold Medal wins. Surpassing our previous BUCS record has been a milestone achievement and all thanks go to individual students, coaches and staff members who helped make this happen.

“I hope this is the start of Durham breaking the record every single year and I can’t wait to watch when they do it again!”

Purple DividerOur championship teams and Gold Medal winners

Arranged in date order below, our 13 winning teams and 11 BUCS Gold Medal winners cross women’s and men’s disciplines, and include traditional sports to more modern ones. For the majority of the teams featured, this year’s BUCS title isn’t the first time they have won the championship either. Many teams celebrate winning streaks of up to five years, highlighting the ongoing success and support for sport at Durham.

Sunday 28 January 2024

Indoor Cricket - men's (BUCS champions 3 years in a row from 2022-24)

Sunday 4 February 2024

Julia Horbaczewska - Boxing BUCS Gold Medal winner

Sunday 18 February 2024

Mary Tomblin - Judo BUCS Gold Medal winner

Jacob Bell - Judo BUCS Gold Medal winner

Sunday 25 February 2024

Rowing - men's 8 (BUCS champions 2 years in a row from 2023-24)

Rowing - women's 8 (BUCS champions 2 years in a row from 2023-24)

Daisy Jackson, Izzy Kennedy, Anna Grace, Megan Hadfield, Zara Berry (cox) - Women's Rowing Championship Quad BUCS Gold Medal winners

Jacob Smith - Athletics (800m indoor) BUCS Gold Medal winner

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Cue sports team (The team won the BUCS title for the 8-ball pool tournament)

Sunday 10 March 2024

Morgan Giles - Taekwondo BUCS double Gold Medal winner

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Basketball - women's first team

Lacrosse - women's first team

Volleyball - men's first team (BUCS champions 2 years in a row from 2023-24)

Volleyball - women's first team (BUCS champions 5 years in a row from 2019-24)

Water Polo - men's first team (BUCS champions 2 years in a row from 2023-24)

Thursday 18 April 2024

Baseball - mixed team 

Saturday 20 April 2024

Jasmine Wood - Athletics (10,000m) BUCS Gold Medal winner

Sunday 5 May 2024

Daisy Jackson and Izzy Kennedy - Women's Rowing Championship Pair BUCS Gold Medal winners

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Rugby - men's sevens (BUCS champions 3 years in a row from 2022-24)

Saturday 11 May 2024

Futsal - women's first team (BUCS champions 3 years in a row from 2022-24)

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Conall Comley - Lifting BUCS Gold Medal winner

Friday 7 June 2024

Beach Volleyball - women's first team (BUCS champions 3 years in a row from 2022-24)

Friday 14 June 2024

Annabel Dyson - Equestrian BUCS Gold Medal winner

Purple DividerEngland Lacrosse senior women’s team selection: Lizzie Rutherford, Captain of the women’s Lacrosse first team

“This season has been my favourite so far and I think our success has been a direct result of just how enjoyable it has been. Being able to train everyday with such a talented group has really helped me to continue to develop both as a player and a leader. So much so that I received my first England Lacrosse senior cap in April and was very grateful to receive Sportswoman of the Year at the University’s Palatinate Awards off the back of this at the start of June. I’m looking forward to the European championships in Portugal this summer before coming back to Durham hopefully for a repeat BUCS win!”

- 3rd year undergraduate, Geography, Collingwood College


An international perspective: Ryan Dickson, Volleyball and Baseball player

“Coming over from Canada to Durham, I was initially unsure of what exactly I was getting myself into. With that, I could not be happier with the decision I have made. As the starting outside hitter, I was able to help the men’s first Volleyball team win every title possible finishing first in BUCS regular season, winning the BUCS National Championship game, the NVL Cup and NVL Championships. Winning aside, I will value even more the lifelong friendships made along the way. 

“I was able to also continue my passion of playing baseball, and I was welcomed onto the team there as well, playing at University level. These accomplishments led to being part of the Team of the Year in Men's Volleyball and a nominee for Sportsman of the Year at the University’s Palatinate Awards which I am proud of. 

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would win four National Championships in one year, and be part of a wider team breaking its all-time BUCS Championship record. It just goes to show how Team Durham fosters a culture of excellence.” 

- MBA postgraduate and sports scholar, St Cuthbert’s Society

Higher Education sport in the UK

BUCS is the national governing body for Higher Education sport in the UK, and delivers an inter-university competition programme for all student athletes at all levels. As well as offering competitors the chance to hone their skills by participating in high level championships, it also provides visibility and potential opportunities for progression to national and professional sport teams.

Sport at Durham

Alongside the outstanding education we offer students, we believe that participating in every aspect of university life is fundamental, and we are committed to sporting excellence, as well as music, theatre, enterprise and volunteering. Our transformative wider student experience helps our students develop team working and leadership capabilities.

We’re consistently ranked within the top three British universities for sport and were named as Sports University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023. Sport is at the core of Durham student life, and a huge range of sporting opportunities is available, from joining college teams to competing at University level and beyond.


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