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)


Downing College Cricket Club is a friendly, welcoming team and we are always on the lookout for new players, regardless of whether you have played before. The club holds pre-season nets in the Fenner’s Indoor Facility from January and we provide kit for those who do not have their own. Cuppers takes place in the summer term and consists of group and knockout stages. All matches are T20s and are generally played in the evening. Finals day is at Fenner’s and is always well attended by students. Downing is historically one of the stronger colleges, reaching the semi-final last year.

Contact: Thomas Masding (tjm81)


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)


Downing Hockey team is a mixed 7 a -side team that plays in the termly inter-college hockey league across the university. Matches take place on Sundays, often preceded by Downing brunch. In Lent term, a knockout-style competition between colleges known as Cuppers takes place. Contact the captains, Dom (djr81) or Ishbel (ikh22) to get involved, and follow our Instagram @downinghockeyclub!


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 such a rewarding sport to be a part of. The large majority of rowers at DCBC start as complete novices with no prior experience whatsoever. DCBC provides all the coaching necessary to get everyone to the level where they can row not only on the Cam, but also in British rowing races all over the country. DCBC has a history of being among the most competitive clubs on the river, with the Mens and Womens 1st VIIIs currently in the top five in Lent bumps. There is a place for everyone in college rowing, as we organise rowers into boats based on ability and availability. When you first join you will row with 7 other novices and a cox and get individual coaching. In the senior squads you have the opportunity to be coached by our alumni and our boatman, Ian, a good number of whom are champions in their own right. We have a fantastic novice social in the form of our Freshers Formal, and Boat Club Dinners at the end of every term. We also have a biennial training camp in Spain in early January. If you want a taste of a classic cambridge tradition with no pressure to have any prior experience, then DCBC is for you. 

If you are interested in rowing do take a look at the boat club website or get in touch with some of our committee:

Captain of Boats - Alex George (she/her) (aig35)

Men’s Captain - Alex Pennington (he/him) (jalp2)

Women’s Captain - Max Filley (he/him) (mf729)

Lower Boats Captains - Holly Thompson (she/her) Maximilian Miramon (he/him) Rijuta Jeswani (cox) (she/her) Jiali Fan (MCR) (she/her) (

Coxing rep - Max Filley (he/him) (mf729)


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 Tennis Club is run by the co-captains, Schayan and I (Rohan). Within Downing Tennis, we have a really welcoming community and there is plenty of tennis on offer for players of all abilities. Every Sunday, social tennis runs where you can book a time slot and you will be assigned people to play with, this is a really good way of meeting people from different years and subject backgrounds! You can also book the two hard courts we have on site, using the online system if you just fancy a knock with friends. Downing Tennis is fiercely competitive when it comes to playing against other Colleges. Last year was a standout year for us with the 1st and 2nd team coming top and being unbeaten in the league. Whilst the league takes place in the first two terms, Easter term is dedicated to Cuppers, a knockout tournament. Within Downing, we also run our own knockout tournament, the Gulbenkian Cup, for which there are large monetary prizes and this is another great way to meet new people and socialise. For the upcoming year, we are both really looking forward to running the club and meeting some new faces! If you have any questions, please email either Schayan (sy418) or me (rs2176).


Downing hosts a very successful mixed Ultimate Frisbee Team, recently beating St Johns in the end of year Cuppers tournament to come 3rd in the competition and the 2nd highest ranked team in Cambridge. Most members start with little to no experience, and its a great way to get involved and meet new people. For more information, contact Captains Mark Jones (mcj36) and Liam McClain (lm901) or Akash Gupta (ag2118), the President. ​


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)