Clubs and Societies

Our clubs and societies are inclusive of everyone, regardless of experience, and they provide a friendly atmosphere for a break from your studies. They are also a great chance to try something new regularly and make new friends! If you have any questions about our clubs and societies or you want to get involved in a society, feel free to get in touch with the Clubs & Societies Officer: cs.ustinovgcr(at) or by messaging the Team Ustinov page on Facebook!

Quick links to our clubs & societies

Our Sports Clubs
Men’s Football
Women’s Football
Mixed Hockey
Table Tennis
Ultimate Frisbee
Tang Soo Do
Grey College Boat Club
And more…
Our other Societies
Allotment Society
Gaming Society
Hairstyle & Lifestyle Society
Ustinov College Choir
St Mary’s College Intercollegiate Beekeeping Society
Our facilities
Starting new societies

A word from the Clubs & Societies Officer, Christos Vlahos (2020-21)

One of the best ways to spend your free time and make new friends is joining a society. The Ustinov GCR has a big number of clubs and societies covering a wide range of interests. What’s the best part? There is no minimum level of commitment. My personal recommendation is to try and join as many societies you think could interest you (even if you’re entirely sure) and then you can decide in which ones you want to focus more. A big number of our societies are sport related, and being part of one gives you the chance to train with a nice group of people and maybe learn something new. You can also choose to compete at a college level representing Ustinov! So far I’ve been a member of quite a few sport clubs in college, and currently I’m heavily involved with two of them (one of which I just started a year ago!). If you’re not that much into sport, there are other societies that we have currently that might suit you. Scroll down to find more information about the current clubs and don’t hesitate to contact me (cs.ustinovgcr[at] if you have any questions about them!

Sport Clubs

Our sport clubs represent Ustinov in a college league and could also be chosen to represent Durham University in varsity games. No previous experience is required to join a team — beginners will easily be introduced to the sport and become an active member of the team. The current list of sport clubs consists of badminton, basketball, football, hockey, table tennis, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, pool and squash!

Note: As you can imagine the situation this year is bound to be different. We are still not sure when college sport will start again (no competitions at least till January 2021) but we’ll try to offer as many opportunities as possible to our clubs to train and meet, following at the same time the guidelines of the University and the government.


Welcome to the Ustinov Badminton Club!

Whether you’re an experienced player or you have never held a racket and hit a shuttlecock, everyone is welcome to come along and play. The team usually train at Durham High School for Girls and Maiden Castle (subject to change due to Covid-19), twice a week. However, attendance to all training sessions is by no means mandatory.

The Women’s Badminton team after securing Division 2 title!

Our training sessions are very relaxed and fun, with the atmosphere friendly and welcoming and we have plenty of rackets and shuttlecocks for everyone to use if you do not have your own. There is also an opportunity to represent Ustinov College in the college league on either the Women’s or Mixed teams. Last year, the Women’s team successfully won their division within the league, with a near perfect sheet of winning matches.

We are looking forward to meet you!

Club President: Mary Parkes (mary.l.parkes[at]

Facebook Page: Ustinov Racket Sports

Men’s Basketball B team

Ustinov Basketball is a club for long-time players and beginners alike. We usually train in Durham School once a week and hopefully we’ll be back in action soon.

Our teams support each other

For the more competitive minds, we also take part in the popular college league against other undergraduate colleges. Currently we have two teams for men (Ustinov A won the Premiership this year) and one for women. All three teams play in the highest league they can.  We are a very friendly and diverse group and we’d love to have you!

Men’s Team Captain: Alberto Rosales de Leon (alberto.rosales-de-leon[at]

Women’s Team Captain: Diane Austry (diane.a.austry[at]

Facebook Page: Ustinov College Basketball Club

Men’s FootballMensFootball

The Men’s Football teamUstinov College Men’s Football Club is an amateur football club for both members of Ustinov College and other Durham University postgraduate students. Two teams compete in both league and cup competitions (11-a-side football) against other Durham University colleges. Matches are played on the weekends at the University’s sports centre (Maiden Castle) and training sessions are normally held in the evening during the week.

53845626_2118208791567016_4916328224826327040_oWe are a very internationally diverse group of players. Players of all ages and abilities are welcome. Please message us on Facebook to get involved!

Team Captain: Balder Nieto Diaz (balder.a.nieto-diaz[at]

Facebook Page: Ustinov College AFC

Women’s Football
The Women’s Football team

Ustinov women’s football team is open to all female staff and postgraduates, whether experienced players or complete beginners. In a normal year we would train once a week (and play in the college league on weekends) and organise fun social events. Hopefully we’ll be able to do get back in action soon! If you are interested, please email All training and matches are held at Maiden Castle Sports Centre.

Team Captain: Laura Campbell (l.j.campbell[at]

The Mixed Hockey's Team
Mixed Hockey Festival

The Hockey club is open to both men and ladies and training is mixed. Single sex matches are also played in the colleges’ league and additional matches are available in the colleges’ trophy competitions. The Hockey club also enter the Durham City HC Mixed Festival in May. All players, of any standard, are welcome — including those who have never played before.

Training and matches normally take place at Maiden Castle. Currently training is every Wednesday 7-8pm on Maiden Castle Pitch 2. The club has some spare sticks to borrow — you only need to bring shin pads and spare clean training shoes! Costs for joining the club are £20 for the whole season for GCR members and £40 for non-GCR members and and this covers most training and match costs for the year!

Club Captain: Miles Hudson (miyls[at]

Table Tennis
The Table Tennis team
The Table Tennis team

The table tennis society was formed in January 2018 after there was interest in the community to form a team to compete in the college table tennis leagues. In just two short years, the team has made it to the highest tier of college table tennis after being promoted to the Premiership in 2019.

The Table Tennis team

We welcome people of all skill to join our club for training. We normally run one training session a week within the community room at Sheraton park with equipment provided. Training takes place in a relaxed environment to learn, practice and play table tennis. We normally also play one mixed match per week against other college teams.

Please get in touch if you’re at all interested in playing!

Team Captain: Henry Truong (henry.truong[at]

Facebook Page: Ustinov Racket Sports

Ultimate Frisbee
The Ultimate Frisbee Team getting ready
The Ultimate Frisbee Team getting ready

Ultimate is a non-contact, self-refereed team sport played with a flying disc (aka a frisbee). Two mixed teams of 7 compete to score points by passing the frisbee around in a fast paced game of speed, skill, and spirit. How does a frisbee game work? The team in possession of the disc is on offence and their goal is to pass the frisbee up the pitch into an end zone to score a point. While in possession of the frisbee, a player cannot leave the spot they are standing on and must move the disc up the pitch by passing to another team mate in any direction. The aim of the defence is simple, to knock the frisbee out of the air or intercept a pass and catch the frisbee themselves. As soon as the frisbee touches the ground, the defensive team becomes the offensive team and can now score in the opposite end zone.

The Ultimate Frisbee team

Ultimate Frisbee is lots of fun and you will find a close knit team at Ustinov that is always eager to teach you some new throw or give you tips and pointers on how to improve. We are very friendly and always looking for new players no matter what your ability. If you are interested, get in touch and hopefully we’ll be back in action soon!

Team Captain: Aidan Duffy(aidan.j.duffy[at]

Facebook Page: Ustinov Spin Doctors Ultimate Frisbee

The Volleyball team practicing

The Ustinov College Volleyball club normally run at least one training per week. It is a friendly environment to learn, practice and play volleyball. All abilities are welcome, whether you are excited to learn the basics or you are a pro looking for friendly matches.

The Volleyball team representing Durham in York varsity!

If things are looking good, after Michaelmas Term, we also enter a team for the college league and represent Ustinov against other colleges in Durham. Hopefully we will be able to do train and play again this year! Feel free to get in touch to join us and have some fun!

Team Captain: Joel Lozano-Perez (joel.e.lozano-perez[at]

Facebook Page: Ustinov Volleyball


PoolThe Ustinov Pool Society has a long and established history within the Durham University Pool League, underpinned by a rise to dominance in the past few years. While we pride ourselves on our ability to compete at the highest level, we also pride ourselves on our inclusivity, and so whether you’re a seasoned veteran, or just picking up a cue for the first time, there is a place in the society for you!

Club President: Tom Rose (thomas.d.rose[at]


The Ustinov College Squash Club welcomes every Squash enthusiastic. It’s for everyone: pro-long-time player – Yes; beginner – Yes; just want to give it a go – Yes, this is the right club.

Shot from a friendly match

What is Squash sport? Squash is a racket and ball sport played by two (singles) or four players (doubles) in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. The players alternate in striking the ball with their racquets onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court. The objective of the game is to hit the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return.

The Squash team practicing!

You will find friendly people in the club, who are always willing to teach and help each other to learn the basics, new techniques, tips, and advice on how to improve.

Feel free to get in touch to join us, have some fun, and we look forward to seeing you!

Team Captain: Neel Bhowmik (neelanjan.bhowmik[at]


Ustinov College’s Tennis Club is for both members of Ustinov college and Durham University postgraduates. Everyone is welcome to come along no matter the amount of experience! We will aim to train weekly, depending on Covid regulations and facilities access, and hopefully, we will be able to compete in the college league this year. Our training sessions will be relaxed and friendly, and all members will be asked to follow the strict guidelines regarding Covid-19 spread prevention to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.

Club President: Ryan Pointing (ryan.pointing[at]

Tang Soo Do

Tang Soo Do is a traditional Korean martial art based on the ancient Korean kicking style of Tae Kyun, and the soft, flowing movements from the Chinese Martial Arts systems. Whilst Tang Soo Do has the rituals and discipline of a traditional martial art, it is designed to equip every student with effective modern self defence knowledge and techniques, while building confidence, discipline, coordination, and self-control.

The Tang Soo Do group warming up!

Tang Soo Do is a semi-contact martial art suitable for children and adults aged 6 to 60. Our clubs is specifically open to all, welcoming novices and experts alike.

Club President: Tom Lennie (thomas.m.lennie[at]

Facebook Page: Yong-gamhan Ustinov Tang Soo Do


We are a relaxed and sociable society for all enthusiastic runners in Ustinov, and we aim to encourage and support runners of all abilities in college. We share training tips and plans that we find useful, races (virtual and in person), and charity challenges. We are a new society but have already created a welcoming community and have banded together to take part in the Leave Nothing But Footprints challenge as a team in aid of Mind in October 2020. When restrictions allow, we hope to organise some weekly in-person group runs, and some social events (e.g. post-parkrun breakfast) so that we can get to know all of our members even more! We have a Strava Club, feel free to join it and get involved!

Club President: Siobhan McAteer (siobhan.m.mcateer[at]

Grey College Boat Club

Rowing is a long established tradition at Durham University and Ustinov College has partnered up with the Grey College Boat Club to allow eager Ustinovians who do not fear the 6am training sessions to participate! If you would like more information about this, please get in touch with the Clubs & Societies Officer (cs.ustinovgcr[at]

And more..!

If you’re interested in another sport, do not hesitate to get in touch with our Clubs & Societies officer (cs.ustinovgcr[at] who will help you start your own society and find members or allow you to get in touch with other colleges happy to have Ustinovians join their team!

Our other Societies

Our societies allow you to meet people who share your interests or to pick up new interests! They are always keen to hear from new members are cater to a wide range of passions — we currently have a board games society, a hairstyle & lifestyle society, and a choir! You could also easily start a new society to bring people together around your interests!

The Allotment Society
The Ustinov College Allotment Society
The Ustinov College Allotment Society

Fancy getting involved in gardening and growing? Ustinov has our very own allotment space near the Observatory. In the past, we’ve grown salads, potatoes, broccoli, beans and more! We also work on trying to do things sustainably – with a focus on repurposing material and building things ourselves. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch!

Facebook Group: Ustinov College Allotment Society

The Gaming Society
The Ustinov College Gaming Society
The Ustinov College Gaming Society

This group is for Ustinov College students interested in gaming — this mostly means board games but could also include some role-playing. The College Bar has a good selection of games you can book out anytime and the society also has a number of own games which we like sharing and teaching! Regular titles notably include Junta, Kremlin, Family Business, Pandemic, Flux, Istanbul and more…

Under the current circumstances we’re unable to meet but if you’re interested join our Facebook group below where updates regarding our future meeting will be shared! When it’s safe to play again — feel free to join with your friends and have fun!

Facebook Page: Ustinov College Gaming Society

The Hairstyle & Lifestyle Society
The Hairstyle & Lifestyle Society at the Botanical garden costume tour
The Hairstyle & Lifestyle Society at the Botanical garden costume tour

Do you want to learn some Asian hairstyles for special occasions? You are welcome to join the Ustinov Hairstyle and Lifestyle society.

Our purpose is to learn how to do different classic Asian hairstyles and to have discussions about them and learn the culture behind them. We would like to do online tutorials by sharing videos first, then do offline tutorials every two weeks or monthly culture tour with costumes. We will use our members as models and at the same time, others can watch and learn. The seminars/offline tutorials and Q&A sessions may last up to 1.5 hours while culture tour may last up to 3 hours.

Society Point of contact: Hanna Wang ([at]

Facebook Page: Ustinov H & L Society 9102

Ustinov College Choir
Live and recorded performances of the choir

The Ustinov College Choir aims to integrate Ustinovian voices in harmony and in a passionate and empowering environment to enjoy music. The Choir would also like to share music with Ustinov members and local community in relevant events. We have played in the Christmas formal last year as well as in Ustinov Live!

Contact: Monica Hernandez Cedillo (monica.hernandez-cedillo[at]

Facebook Page: Ustinov College Choir 2019-2020

St Mary’s College Intercollegiate Beekeeping Society

The St Mary’s College Beekeeping Society is an intercollegiate student-led group of beekeepers who maintain an apiary at St Mary’s college. Our society aims to promote the hobby of beekeeping and the protection of wild pollinators among the Durham University community. We currently have three colonies of bees, which will gradually increase as the society grows.

The society teaches practical beekeeping through the management of an on-site apiary and through a series of taught classes, lectures and practical activities. We are always keen to invite new members of the Durham University community to try this unique hobby and Ustinov GCR members are particularly welcome!

Facebook Page: St Mary’s Beesoc

Our facilities

The Ustinov College GCR has access to a number of sports halls and facilities. Click here to find out more about our facilities!

Starting new societies

We are always keen to hear from people interested in starting new societies — the process is very straightforward and our Clubs & Societies officer will happily help you get started. Click here to find out more about starting societies.