Sport abounds at Magdalen. Old hands and novices alike can join rowing, rugby, netball, football (and more) clubs. College and alumnae generously provide the funds for equipment. College members elect the captains each year. The best part is that anyone, at any level of experience, can take part in the various sports available. If traditional sports aren’t for you, Magdalen recently won kayak polo cuppers. College punts are also available to anyone who wants to use them in Trinity term.
We have facilities that enable cricket, netball, football, hockey, rugby and tennis to be played at the Bear Pit, our sports ground. We also have a boathouse on the Isis (as the stretch of the Thames river in Oxford is called). With so many facilities and sports available to get involved in, Magdalen truly has a thriving sports scene. We also have funds available to the JCR members for the purchasing of sports equipment, mainly for the trialling of new sports.
Rowing at Magdalen is great fun and caters for all levels: from absolute beginners to considerably experienced. Magdalen is in the top division for rowing across the colleges so training is taken seriously and can be quite tough (particularly for those in the top group for men and women) but despite the blisters and the early mornings it’s an incredibly, if not the most, rewarding experience. Unlike other sports, there is a whole cult around rowing: competitions (torpids in Hilary and Summer VIIIs in Trinity term) attract thousands of spectators and free Pimms flows like rivers.
Magdalen College Rugby Football Club (MCRFC, also known simply as “The Club”) is one of the most social sports within college. Training occurs at least once a week and usually have weekly games, with cuppers starting in Michaelmas term, playing in the league during Hilary term, and the cuppers finals in Trinity term. In Trinity there is also the chance to join part of our 7s team, for some good summer rugby. Individuals of all abilities are welcome, though you will need a mouthguard for any contact work!!
And remember to always say “I love the club” and you will be sure to make fast friends.
Women’s football is a brilliant team sport to get involved with, especially if you’re not sure where to start with extracurricular activities. The girls on the team are so friendly and welcoming, regardless of your previous experience with football. If you’re looking for a relaxed environment to make friends college-wide and fit some exercise into your schedule, football is ideal. In Michaelmas and Hilary, we play matches once a fortnight with the occasional training session to work on technique. Our main goal is to get as many girls on the pitch as possible – every moment on the ball counts.
We play mixed matches against other colleges on Sundays. All abilities are welcome. Our one and only practice session will be during Freshers Week so please do come along. We can provide sticks if you don’t have one, but you’ll need to bring your own shin pads and mouthguard. Hockey at Magdalen is really good fun, very relaxed, and a great way to run off those post-Bop hangovers!
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College basketball is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get involved with basketball – no matter what the skill level. There is the college league, where there are weekly games and the winner is decided by the end of Hilary term. A cuppers tournament held in Trinity is a slightly more formal tournament but still great fun. It’s a great way to get involved in college life and meet other freshers and students.
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Most of the tennis at Magdalen takes place during Trinity term when the Cuppers and League tournaments take place and Magdalen’s six lovely grass courts open up. However, Magdalen also has three hard courts on which sporadic training takes place during the rest of the year. The Magdalen team currently sits in the first division of the league, however, the team switches around quite a lot and hence there are plenty of opportunities for players of any level to have a go at representing the college.
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Badminton at Magdalen is a lot of fun. The sessions run in every term and all abilities are welcome to join at any point in the year. There are opportunities to play for fun and to test yourself in more competitive matches. The members of Magdalen College Badminton Club form a diverse group of people who are all very welcoming. You don’t need any of your own equipment other than clothing suitable for running around. I would strongly recommend giving it a go whether you’re a new fresher at the college or a finalist looking to offload some stress and meet more people.
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Every year we also have a varsity sports day against Magdalene College Cambridge where all of our sports teams compete against their counterparts at our rival sister college, including both major team sports and some more individual events, such as the arm wrestles below. This event alternates between us hosting in Oxford and them hosting in Cambridge and is always good fun for everyone, regardless of whether or not you play sports. This is often followed by a big social with Magdalene Cambridge, with both drinking and non-drinking events being put on by the hosting college.