Sports and Societies

St. Johns has a wide variety of over 30 sports and societies which are open to any and all members of the SJCR. Whether you are looking to dive into the fiercely competitive college leagues, play some casual Badminton, or sit and chat while watching Formula 1, Johns has it all. 

The SJCR provides all Sports and Societies for free, one of only two colleges to do so! As there is no financial commitment required, we encourage all our members to get involved and try out as many clubs as they can. 

College sport is designed to have a balance of competitiveness and casual commitment, which makes it highly accessible to everyone from experienced athletes to those trying out a new sport for the first time. Many of our club captains only picked up their sport while at Johns! 

Most of our sports train once a week, with matches against other colleges on some weekends. You can see our upcoming fixtures, results, and overall position in the intercollegiate league table at  

We also have a diverse range of societies, ranging from the performing arts with the Bailey Theatre Company and John’s Music Society, to the newly revived Feminist Book Club. 

We are always open to ideas for new clubs and societies! If you have a passion or interest that isn’t represented by our existing range of clubs, you are more than welcome to set up your own! If this is something you would like to do, or you have any other questions about Sports and Societies in Johns, then email our Sports and Societies Officer Jonathan at, or catch him around college. 

You can see our range of clubs below. If you are interested in getting involved, don’t hesitate to message the club captain! 

College sports and societies are all about participation, so you can get involved whatever your standard or experience. During your time at John’s, you are almost certain to find yourself in a position of leadership, which will also enhance your CV and future career prospects, providing you with concrete examples of management and organisation. So even if you’ve never picked up a lacrosse stick, or fancy trying rugby, don’t know what whisky tastes like or dream of being on the stage, this is your opportunity!

St John’s students are recognised for their commitment to sports and societies every year at an awards night. Sports and Societies are always evolving at John’s – we hope there’s something for everyone but if not then you can make it happen and start something of your own. See the guides and handbooks section of the website for advice on how to go about creating a society.

The College Freshers’ fair is the best place to sign up for sports and societies at the beginning of each year. You can sign up for as many sports and societies as you would like, without any obligation! But, if you would like to know more about a specific sport or society, or don’t know who to get in contact with about joining a sports team or society, click on the links below to access the sports and societies’ Facebook pages. You can also email for information about any sports or societies.



John’s Badminton is open to everyone, no matter your skill level. We have sessions at Freeman’s Quay twice a week – Sundays are more casual with some social badminton (a great study break!), and Thursdays are a bit more serious with team training for those who want to play matches. All three of our teams (men’s, women’s, and mixed) compete against other colleges, and there are lots of opportunities to play matches throughout the year. Whether you’re looking for a low-commitment social activity or a more competitive environment, we’d love to see you at one of our sessions! 

Captain –  

Join the Facebook group here!

Men’s Basketball

The Men’s Basketball team is very chilled and fun to be a part of. We have weekly training sessions and matches roughly every other week at Maiden Castle. We are always on the lookout for new players – you don’t have to be tall or experienced, just come along and get stuck in! 

Captain – 

Join the Facebook group here!

Women’s Basketball

No experience needed to join our Women’s Basketball team – all are welcome! We are now in our third year as a team and looking to build on our strong start and success in the college leagues. We are a friendly group that train once a week, with matches most weeks as well. Training and matches are no pressure, and the more the merrier! 

Captain – 

Join the Facebook group here!


Cheerleading is great for improving your strength, fitness, and making new friends – you have to be very trusting of your teammates! We train once or twice per week and are planning on doing several performances throughout the year, including at Johns-Chads day. We will also be entering teams into the intercollegiate Cheerleading competition where we will show off all the hard work we’ve put in over the year! No prior experience is needed to join our team – most of our current members were complete beginners before joining the Angels! 

Captain –  

Check out the Instagram here!


St John’s College Cricket Club welcomes everyone, whatever ability or experience you arrive at Johns with. Whether you’re keen to really work on your game or just want to come for a both of fun in a relaxed environment we would love to have you. We currently train once a week in Epiphany and Easter terms, with an intercollegiate outdoor T20 league taking place in Easter term. We hope to see you on the field! 

Captain –  

Join the Facebook group here!


Dance is a brilliant way to express yourself and have a bit of fun! No experience is needed to join. We have a session once a week in Leech Hall, where we learn small routines that we build up every week. Dance styles range all the way from contemporary and lyrical to hip-hop! We look forward to seeing you there! 

Captain –  


John’s Darts offers an entertaining and competitive Monday evening, playing against other colleges most weeks in team matches. Fixtures are held at both the home of John’s Darts (the bar overspill) and other college bar facilities. In weeks without scheduled matches training exercises are organised by our club captain. We hope to see many new faces this year! 

Captain – 

Men’s Football

John’s football welcomes players of all abilities. We are hosting trials at the end of Fresher’s Week, but everyone will be welcome to train with us and play in one of our three teams, which range from our more social C team to the more competitive A team, which currently plays in Division 1. We are always keen for more numbers, so come along to play and train with us at any time, even if you missed the trials! 

Captain –  

Join the Facebook group here!

Women’s Football

We are a fun group with great team spirit, showing our more competitive side for matches. We’ll be holding fun socials too! All abilities are welcome – even if you’ve not played before and are unsure whether football is for you, come and try it out! To boost our numbers, our team is joint with St. Chads, but that just means double the fun!  

Captains – and  

Join our Facebook group!

Men’s Hockey

Despite being one of the smallest colleges, John’s Men’s Hockey has always outperformed its size. We consistently feature in the premiership – the top division of college hockey – as well as regularly progressing deep into the floodlit cups. We are a close community that that is welcoming to players of all abilities and experiences. Despite our competitive successes, we are a very social team, running a number of social events each term. We train once a week, with matches most weekends as well. We can’t wait to see some new faces this year! 

Contact and  

Women’s Hockey

St. John’s Women’s Hockey Club is a great team to get involved in, no matter your skill level. We are a joint team with St. Chads, which allows us to be more competitive in the college leagues and floodlit tournaments. Whether you’re an advanced player, have played at school, or never picked up a Hockey stick before, feel free to come along! We train once a week and have matches most weekends – a great way to keep fit and pick up new skills while at university. We also have regular socials which are a great way to bond with your teammates and make friendships across year groups. 

Captains – and  

Mixed Lacrosse

Mixed Lacrosse is a fun sport which many arrive at Johns having never played. If you are looking for a chill sport with weekly training to stay fit, and matches on some weekends to satisfy your competitive side, then Lacrosse is for you! 

Captains – and


St. John’s Netball Club is a great way to have fun, get fit as part of a team, and a relaxed way to meet new people across year groups. Whether you are completely new to the game, haven’t played since you were 10, or a regular player that lives for the game, we’d love you to join us. We train once a week on a Wednesday and try to get everyone to our games which happen on most weekends. We have A and B teams that compete in the college leagues. We are super keen to get a many involved as possible this year. Players of all abilities are welcome, so come down to our training and taster sessions! 

Captain –  


The Pool club has been revived for this year. Training takes place in the Bailey Room, with all equipment provided! Trials take place in the first few weeks of the year, but don’t be discouraged form coming down and joining in if you’ve missed those!  

Captain – 

This is our top team from the 2018/2019 academic year getting ready to play their final match of the year! The room has since received a makeover but the table looks just the same.


Rounders takes place in Easter term, with a fun inter-collegiate competition. No training is necessary, you can just turn up and play! 

Would you like to be the Rounders captain for 2023-24? Email!  


St. John’s College Boat Club (SJCBC) is one of the largest and most successful clubs in the college. We regularly punch far above our own weight in competitions taking place against both other colleges and local clubs. In March, we go down to London to take place in the Head of the River race, which sees crews from across the country and many international crews compete in front of thousands of spectators. Many of our members learn to row at Johns, going through our novice program to become highly successful rowers. We also offer various socials each term. We would love to have you at our club! 

Captain – Ahaura Keighley –  

Men’s Rugby

John’s Rugby Club welcomes individuals of all experience levels, whether you’re a newcomer to the sport or a lifelong player. We offer weekly training sessions that are informative, enjoyable, and occasionally challenging. We also have regular matches (weather permitting). Beyond the on-field action, we place a strong emphasis on social activities, with frequent and social gatherings. Additionally, when major events like the World Cup and Six Nations roll around, we come together to watch matches as a group. Our team is a collaboration with St. Chads so joining the Rugby team is a great way to get out of the ‘John’s bubble’. 

Captain –  

Women’s Rugby

SCJWRFC (St. Chad’s John’s Women’s Rugby Football Club) is possibly the best college sport to join. Last year was the club’s most successful yet, with the club winning the Floodlit tournament final – an incredible feat for the smallest and second smallest college! The joy of college rugby is that anyone can join – you don’t need to have played before; many of our players had never competed before the successful floodlit competition. We would love to see another successful year in 2023-24/ SCJWRFC needs you! 

Captain –  


St. John’s Running Club (SJRC) meets outside reception every Wednesday afternoon for a roughly 5km social run around Durham. A brilliant way to keep active while studying, as well as discover some lesser known places around the city, we encourage everyone to come down! Routes and meeting times are posted on Instagram before the run, so keep an eye out. Running is a no-pressure club, and we run at the speed of the slowest member, so don’t worry about being left behind. This year we are also arranging club trips to Durham Parkrun on Saturdays, and some inter-collegiate races are in the works. 

Captain –  

Men’s Squash

Players of any standard are welcome! We train once a week, and have regular weekend matches, so come along to play with friends and get some competition in!  

Captain –  

Women’s Squash

Women’s Squash at John’s is a great social sport, whatever level you are – everyone is welcome! We usually meet once a week for training, and have matches against other college teams at the weekend. Many of our members start off as complete beginners, so if you’re interested in rising through the ranks and achieving ultimate racket sport power, this is the club for you. 

Captain –  

Join the John’s Squash facebook group here:

Table Tennis

John’s Table Tennis welcomes players of all skill levels, from newcomers seeking a casual game to more experienced competitors. We hold our weekly sessions on Saturday in Leech Hall, making these a great way to get away from your desk and play some table tennis with your fellow Johnians. Whether you’re looking for a more laid-back game or more competitive match experience, we’ve got you covered. While our sessions are quite casual, John’s is also part of the intercollegiate Table Tennis League, meaning there will be plenty of opportunities to play in matches against other colleges. 

Captains – and  


Tennis has been revived for this academic year. Weekly training will take place, with the opportunity for competitive matches against other colleges. There are competitive Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed Doubles teams, although everyone trains together regularly. Everyone is welcome to come down and play, no matter your experience – the more the merrier! 

Captain –  

Ultimate Frisbee

Frisbee at john’s is one of the most laid back and traditionally successful sports. It’s something that most people have never really tried before coming to John’s, so don’t worry if you don’t yet know your ‘hammers’ from your ‘chicken wings’. Teams are mixed, and we play all throughout the year (yes, even in the snow)! So come along and we look forward to seeing you out there. We have weekly training sessions where we’ll do a few drills and skills, and then have a big match at the end. Don’t forget to come along on weekends to compete against the other colleges! 

Captain –  


Volleyball is a relatively new sport at Johns, but definitely the most fun! We are always on the lookout to recruit new members, and hope to see you come along to one of our training sessions.  

Captain –  


Bailey Theatre Company

The Bailey Theatre Company is John’s college’s official gateway into the world of Durham Student Theatre with our annual programme decided by our Johnian exec and our shows chiefly directed and produced by John’s students. We aim to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for all whether you prefer acting, directing, singing, producing, tech, set-design, costumes & make-up or even simply being part of the audience. There is plenty for everyone! BTC prides itself in its ability to provide opportunities for everyone no matter their level of experience.  

We stage a variety of productions throughout the year with something for everyone! We typically we aim to produce two plays in Michaelmas term, a musical in Epiphany term and our annual John’s-only Summer Shakespeare in Easter Term after exams. In previous years we have also put on workshops and socials allowing people to take part regardless of what productions they choose to be a part of. Our musical in collaboration with John’s Music Society has been our largest, most awaited event in recent years having performed The Phantom of The Opera and Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, the latter of which won best college musical. We are always open to suggestions and proposals from the rest of the college be it an original piece, a new event or a treasured show, we will try our best to make it happen. Ultimately, we love to inspire and engage in theatrical creativity in whatever form it takes, and we act as a fun and friendly platform to enable the formation of new friendships in the process. 

President – Catherine Wilcox –  

Check out the facebook page and instagram account for more info!

St. John’s Christian Union

St. John’s Christian Union is a Christ-centred, friendly group of people who long to make Jesus known in college and the wider student community. We meet once a week for bible study, prayer and a catch-up. Whether you’ve been a Christian for years or have a million questions or have never set foot in a church and are just curious, everyone is so welcome. We are part of the wider Durham Intercollegiate Christian Union (DICCU), along with the other college CUs and are so blessed to have such a supportive student network. 

Presidents – and  

Please follow our Instagram ( and Facebook ( to keep up to date with what’s going on.

John’s Music Society

John’s Music Society (JMS) is the umbrella society for music in John’s. There’s a thriving music scene to enjoy, with a multitude of opportunities for musicians of all abilities to get involved.

JMS have a wide variety of unauditioned ensembles that rehearse regularly and perform to a high standard. Whether you enjoy performing, conducting, technical set up, working behind the scenes, or simply listening to music, JMS is the society to get involved in!

JMS promote a fun and relaxed atmosphere in everything they do and encourage as many people as possible to get involved with whatever they wish. In addition to the society’s pre-existing ensembles, they can assist students with funding and organisation for introducing a new ensemble.

For those who prefer solo performances, JMS can assist with the provision of rehearsal spaces and equipment like music stands and instruments. There are regular opportunities to perform as an individual at the society’s relaxed Open Mic Nights, or in a more formal concert setting.

Follow JMS on Facebook and Instagram: @johnsmusicsociety.

For more information, please contact

Feminist Book Club

Come along to read and chat about feminism! 

Presidents – and  

Formula 1 Society

One of the newer societies in John’s, F1 soc is perhaps the most exciting and low commitment there is. We meet on race weekends in the bar overspill to watch races and compete fiercely in our own F1 fantasy league. There are even some socials to go along with the fun of watching cars drive in circles! 

Presidents – and  

Don’t forget that if you don’t think there’s a sport or society for you, you can create one!
Also – all students are members of the Durham Student Union which has literally hundreds of sports and societies available to ALL colleges, so don’t hesitate to get involved in these too 🙂
Head to the DSU Freshers’ Fair at the beginning of October to find out more!

Photos courtesy of Alex McNab, Durham