Sports Clubs

Athletics and Cross Country

Athletics is one of the sports clubs involving the least commitment at college-level, with just two major events per year – cuppers at the start of Michaelmas and in Easter term. Athletes of all levels are warmly welcomed. The cuppers competitions are a great opportunity to try something new, or have a go at your favourite events, in a very supportive and friendly environment. Score some points for Downing and help us move up the college league table! For anyone wanting to do more athletics after Michaelmas cuppers, weekly training is organised through the Cambridge University Athletics Club. There is also a college Cross-Country League consisting of several races over the term and training is organised by Cambridge University Hare and Hounds on a weekly basis.


Athletics: Joe Burton (jpb89)
Cross Country: Hugh Chatfield (hac47)


Badminton is a popular sport at Downing. We have squads training twice a week and participating in highly competitive matches - our Mixed 1st Team has an impressive track record, recently winning the title in Lent and Michaelmas 2019-20. We also offer a weekend open session for anyone of any ability to have a knock about.


Akash Gupta (ag2118)
Ryan Yu (rwhy2)


Downing’s basketball team is highly competitive. In the past several years, we have we have won cuppers and the Cambridge University College league. For those who can’t get enough, we train multiple times a week at the local gym (Kelsey Kerridge), but lots of people also pick and choose when they come throughout the year. There is no high commitment requirement and players of all abilities are welcome, so come along even if you’ve never played basketball before, you’ll definitely have a great time.

Contact: Dan Bowe (db714)


Cricket at Downing is a growing sport with more and more people playing every year. We have built a good squad, and are always looking to inject some new blood in to the team. There are generally pre-season nets at the Fenner’s Cricket Facility from January and some more during the season. Cuppers has increased its league size to maximise the amount of cricket that is played by each college. Matches are Twenty20 format and great fun.

Contact: Tom Balderson (twb35)


Men’s football is one of Downing’s most popular and successful sports. With three teams playing every weekend, players of all abilities are welcome, and everyone should regularly get a game. The men’s 1st XI are currently the best college team in all of Cambridge, having won Division 1 this year, going unbeaten the whole season. This was no surprise, as Downing has consistently had one of the best football first XIs over the last decade, winning multiple league titles and cuppers competitions. The second and third teams have also seen success recently, including the 2nd team reaching the Plate final this year. Plus, we have a women’s football team who have seen success on the pitch recently including a trip to the Shield final this year. All of our teams are able to take advantage of our outstanding football ground, just a short cycle away on Granchester Road, which boasts beautiful pitches. As well as success on the pitch the football club also prides itself on its strong social scene off it. Regular societal events are organised weekly over the course of the year culminating in the Annual Football Dinner to celebrate the successes of the respective teams over the course of the season, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.


Captain: Josh Sassoon (jes223)
2s captain: Alex Reeves (ar901)
Women’s: Freya Robson (far28)


Hockey at Downing is a fun way to socialise, as well as a great way to keep fit and de-stress from Cambridge life. Anyone is welcome and with matches mostly on Sundays, we train on Saturday evenings with Trinity Hall and Churchill College. Traditionally Downing has been the Arsenal of the hockey league, consistently finishing fourth, though in the last two years the men have bucked this trend. As well as making it to the semi-final of the cup the men narrowly missed out on the league title last year. Going one better this year they won the Michaelmas league and are also on course to win the Lent league. Having qualified for Supercuppers, the men played a fantastic game, drawing against Worcester College, Oxford, on the morning of the Varsity match. The women continue to be enthusiastic, retaining 1st division status despite a smaller team this year and are looking for some freshers to boost the squad. Get keen. Bring chat and flair – kit is secondary.


Men’s: Jeremy Manger ( and Sam Buchanan (safb2)
Women’s: Jemma Fairchild ( and Abi Jordan (alj53)


We have one mixed Lacrosse team in Downing which involves very little commitment and welcomes players of all ability including complete beginners. We train and have matches weekly, usually at the weekend, and there is a very relaxed sociable atmosphere, so sign up at the fresher’s fair if you want to get involved. Recent success for the team includes promotion to the first Division in the college league.


Captain: Pranetr Pattu (pp422)
Vice-Captain: Freddie Carruthers (fzdc2)


Downing Netball is a fantastic way to meet friends as well as keep fit at university. With three netball teams (Ladies 1s and 2s, and Mixed), Downing is one of the most successful colleges in Cambridge.

Every year, the Ladies 1s enjoy high success in the League and at the Cuppers competition. The Ladies 2s are also a fruitful and friendly team, taking their games a little less seriously but playing with the fun and welcoming Downing spirit.

Our Mixed team are the most successful in the university, consistently performing strongly in the Division 1 League. It is great to welcome players who have never picked up a netball before and see their performance improve throughout the season!

In conclusion, netball at Downing is for everyone. It’s taken seriously enough to play at a high standard, but there is a friendly, social atmosphere and there is definitely a team for everyone. We have regular(ish) training and all matches take place at the weekends. Time-wise, commitment to all teams are relatively low, but bundles of enthusiasm and Downing pride are a necessity. And if you need any more convincing, we have an end-of season dinner to celebrate what will inevitably have been a brilliant season. Everyone is welcome!


Ladies 1s: Jemma Fairchild (jrf60)
Ladies 2s: Eli Hayes (emh70) & Hattie Seymour (hges2)
Mixed: Lauren Donaldson (lad48)


Rowing is a sport like no other. Most of us start as complete novices and soon become some of the most enthusiastic athletes in College. There are plenty of opportunities for all levels but if you do want a challenge and a way of keeping fit, rowing is certainly for you! DCBC is currently one of the top Clubs on the river, with both Men’s and Women’s 1st VIIIs currently in the top five in the Lents and top six in the Mays – our Women currently hold the Lent’s Headship too! The Club has a fantastic collegiate atmosphere and opportunities that no other sport can offer. Not only does the Club race all over the country, we also have a biannual training camp in the South of Spain in early January, and many of us have raced in the prestigious Head of the Charles in Boston, USA.

Please take a look at the boat club website!

If you are interested in rowing or coxing, please get in touch with some of our committee members below:

Men’s Captain – Rian Howe (rjh256)
Women’s Captain – Emma Greer (eg581)
Lower Boats Captains – Ella Young, Daisy Dunworth, Imogen Woods-Wilford, and Bob Sutherland (
Coxing Rep - Ryan Chung, (rkyc2)


DCRUFC are in the first division of the College leagues and are renowned throughout the university as one of the strongest sides. Despite a shortage of players in the 2014/15 season, the side maintained their standing in division one and won the College Rugby Plate tournament. This is the most recent in a number of successful years: 2010/11 (Plate winners); 2012/13 (Div 1 winners and Cuppers winners) and 2013/14 (Div 1 winners). However, the club is very proud to welcome players of all abilities and hope that all new members of the college will give rugby a try! Training takes place at least once per week, mainly on Sunday mornings, with matches generally on Tuesday afternoons. DCRUFC also organises regular social events which cultivate team spirit and help integrate new players into the team. Recent annual tours have been to Malta, Portugal and Barbados.

Contact: Connor Newell (cen38)


Squash at Downing is a popular sport among both beginners and more experienced players alike. It is relatively low commitment but great exercise and a lot of fun and the Downing squash team is quite strong at the moment. Our first team has been consistently in the second division of the University League with our second team in the 5th division. We have weekly training sessions with a coach and a match on the weekends as well as access to the courts at Kelsey Kerridge for anytime use. It’s a great new sport to try and we get lots of beginners every year but if you are more experienced you are guaranteed some good games!

Contact: Nick Chornay (njc89)

Table Tennis

Contact: Vatsal Raina (vr311)


Downing Lawn Tennis Club is one of Downing’s older sporting societies and has a very successful history. There is a league in Michaelmas and the Cuppers competitions for the men and women’s teams take place in the latter part of Lent Term and early part of Easter Term. The Downing Cup takes place around the same time. Last year Downing came second in the Michaelmas league and were champions of Cuppers! The ladies’ team were finalists. Our tennis courts, which are on site, can be booked at any time in the Porters’ Lodge. All are welcome to join and there are players of all standards who are keen for a hit!


Men’s – Matthew Mears (mm2265)
Women’s – Sarah Lua (skyl3)


Ultimate frisbee? Don’t worry, when we first started, we didn’t have a clue either. Ultimate is an extremely fast paced team sport which involves passing the disc between players in order to score points in the opponent’s endzone. The sport is founded on the “spirit of the game”, whereby players play without any intention of cheating and resolve disputes themselves, without the help of referees. Confused? All will be explained at DCU practices, so please come along and see what it is all about. Most people will have never played before, so there’s no need to feel at all disadvantaged. We hold practices every week, and also compete in the college league and cuppers tournaments, with many of our players also going on to represent the university with the main Cambridge team, Strange Blue. So please, come and join us whenever you like, both males and females, whatever your playing level! If you have any questions, we’re often to be found throwing a disc on the paddock, so feel free to come and join us.

Contact: Will Beddow (wb279).


One of the newest additions to Downing’s spectacular sporting scene, Mixed Volleyball Cuppers is quickly growing in popularity as a perfect blend of low commitment and high enjoyment. The inter-college tournament is designed so teams of similar ability are paired up in later rounds, ensuring every game played is closely fought! Volleyball is a very accessible sport and anyone is encouraged to come along to a game and try it out – no training is required!

Contact: Brandon Lee (bl435)