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Sport and fitness

Whether you want to participate, play, prepare or perform there's something for everyone at York - from beginners to pros. You can indulge existing passions or try something completely new.

We offer inclusive opportunities for all students to participate in sport regardless of race, sexual orientation, nationality or disability status. Our elected students and graduates - the figureheads of student sporting activity at York - strive to create the very best opportunities you.

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"I want everyone to feel that they are able to get involved in sport at York. Whether you want to compete or just take part then York is a great place to do that! Just make sure you get involved."

Isaac Beever, York Sport Union President 2016/17

University sports clubs

Be part of York Sport Union, the sporting arm of the Students' Union (YUSU). Choose from over 60 clubs including skydiving, triathlon, sailing, American football, cheerleading, netball, potholing, rowing and archery - there is something for everyone!

Some clubs compete regularly against other universities in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions. BUCS is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK.

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"Through being involved with University of York cycling club I have discovered almost every village, every landmark, every hill, every Yorkshire oddity within a 30-mile radius of York. I’ve drunk tea by the riverside at Knaresborough, I’ve eaten chips on the Filey seafront, I’ve watched gliders take off Sutton Bank and I’ve seen the monks wondering the grounds of Ampleforth."

Madeline, PhD student. Read Madeline's guest blog post.

College sports

3G football pitches at York Sport Village

If casual sport is your thing, college sport is for you.

It's open to everyone whether you've been playing a sport for years or you fancy trying something new. Play for fun or compete against other colleges.

You could also play for your college against Durham University, in the only inter-university college varsity.

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“The college system at York gives everyone access to a broad variety of sports. Regardless of age or ability, you can play in a relaxed environment, make new friends and most importantly, have fun!”

Amy and Esther, College Sport Officers 2015/16

Annual sporting events

There are plenty of sporting events on offer, whether you want to take part in the action or sit back and spectate.

Roses - help us beat Lancaster

Every year you’ll have the chance to compete in the Roses tournament - the largest inter-university sports competition in Europe.

It's the biggest event in our sporting calendar with a full weekend of fixtures across dozens of sports. This year, 28 - 30 April, we'll be fighting on home soil to win back the Carter James Trophy. 

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Other key events:

  • College Varsity, between York and Durham University, is the only inter-university college sport tournament in the UK.
  • Our annual College Sports Day is our most nostalgic and fun event of the year involving a range of old school sporting events.
  • York Sport Union Colours Ball, the grand finale of the sporting year, celebrates the fantastic achievements of our University sports clubs over the year.
  • The College Sport Celebrations recognise and reward the fantastic students who participate in college sport.
  • Freshers' Fair, where all the University sports clubs will be out in force and looking to entice you into join their club!

"Roses is just the best! Playing in front of cheering crowds of friends, team mates and people you don't even know makes the weekend have an incredible atmosphere. You really feel part of a collective effort to win and that is why it is the pinnacle of the sporting calendar at York!"

Isaac Beever, York Sport Union President 2016/17

Get fit and train

Watch our sports video to see our sports facilities in action and to discover the variety of activities on offer.

York Active

York Active colour run

York Active is a fun way to play sport in a non-competitive and relaxed environment, no matter what your ability level.

Choose from sports such as netball, badminton, hula hooping and rave spin! You can also play ping pong on free outdoor table tennis on campus.

York Active is a three-year Sport England funded programme which aims to increase sport and physical activity among York students and staff.

Performance sport

If you're at the top of your game you may be interested in the York Sport Union Performance Programme. It provides support and training to our high performing athletes and clubs, promoting excellence and maximising opportunities to improve sporting performance. Support includes Strength and Conditioning sessions, physiotherapy and sports Massage.

Santander also support elite athletes at the university through the Santander Universities partnership.

First-class facilities on campus

York Sport Village and Sports Centre give you access to a wide range of first-class sport, health and fitness facilities, services and programmes. You can choose from a range of pay-as-you-go and membership options.

Explore the full range of facilities on offer (

York Sport Village

Have easy access to our flagship new sports facility on the eastern edge of campus. It takes about 25 minutes on foot from the centre of campus, or you can take the free bus.

  • Competition-standard 25m swimming pool and 18m training pool
  • Floodlit 3G full-size football pitches and 5 aside pitches
  • 120-station fitness suite with integrated TVs
  • Three air-conditioned studios for classes
  • Sauna and steam room
  • 1km cycle circuit and an Olympic sized velodrome.

York Sport Centre

Make the most of a range of campus-based facilities including:

  • Four sport halls with courts team and individual sports such as badminton, basketball and volleyball
  • Indoor and outdoor tennis courts
  • Squash courts
  • Floodlit hockey and football pitches
  • County standard 400m athletics track
  • Floodlit netball courts
  • 39 acres of grass playing fields
  • Outdoor cricket nets.

YorActive outdoor fitness trail

Run, walk or cycle the new YorActive Trail and use outdoor gym equipment along the way.

The new 5km outdoor fitness trail, open to students, staff and the wider community, connects the west and east parts of campus.

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