St. John's Common Room

Sports and Societies

As the activities we spend most of our time doing, sports and societies are a huge part of our lives here at John's, we're passionate about doing what we love and they create great opportunities to bring us together, meet new people and have some fun!

We may be the second smallest college, but we have a great sporting reputation and consistently punch well above our weight. The 2015/16 academic year was no different. We finished sitting 2nd in the overall points per person table for college sport, sandwiched between Collingwood and Grey – the stereotypically sporty colleges.

The pinnacle of John's sport arose in our competition against our arch rivals Chad's in the annual clash, John's Chad's Day. Despite being the day after John's Summer ball for the second year in a row, we rose to the challenge with wins in Cricket, Rounders and Frisbee. John's stormed to an early lead with the Summer Ball seemingly having no effect. However, losses in all three Football games and both Basketball games meant that by 2.30pm the standings were neck and neck. A surprise loss in Mixed Lacrosse proved the turning point for Chad's and victories for them in Pool, Croquet and Athletics meant that they ended up winning the event for the second year in a row. The day finished with Chad's on 13 wins to John's on 9 with 3 draws. We may have lost John's Chad's Day for a second year (disturbing our 7 year run of victory) but if anything, that's made it more of a real competition for next year!

There are also loads of societies to get involved in, including a huge range of music groups, the Whiskey Society and the Bailey Theatre Company. John's music regularly put on performances and open mic nights, and this year the BTC put on a wonderful production of Taming the Shrew for the traditional Summer Shakespeare. College sports and societies are all about participation, so you can get involved whatever your standard or experience. So even if you've never picked up a lacrosse stick, or fancy trying rugby, don't know what whisky tastes like or dream of being on the stage, this is your opportunity!

Sports and Societies are always evolving at John's; we hope there's something for everyone but if not then you can make it happen and start something of your own. We're really excited about another great year and can't wait for you to join us in our future successes.

Sports and Societies Officer

Billy Franks


After a very successful year for both Men's and Women's Badminton, we hope we will be able to build upon a great foundation. With promotion for the men's team, and only narrowly missing out with the women's, we'll be looking to strengthen our teams and go even further this year. However, it's not all about the competition! We have weekly practice sessions where everyone is welcome - from team members to novices - so do come along and give it a go!
Captains Team
Joe Wilson Men's A & B
Jess Rackham Women's A
Laura Cheung Women's A
The men's basketball team were unfortunately relegated from the premiership this season. However, the resolve of the team has never been stronger as we seek to bounce straight back into the premiership. Women's basketball is one of the newer teams at John's and is looking for some new recruits. Both teams have weekly training and games every other week. You don't have to be tall, just willing to get involved and get to training! All levels are welcome.
Captains Team
Jake Lal Men's A
Mami Sugiyama Women's A
Cheerleading is a great way to learn new skills as it incorporates elements of dance, gymnastics and stunting to create fun, exciting routines for people to enjoy! For those who have seen 'Bring it On,' don't worry, you won't be asked to do a cheesy chant or participate in a dance off! St. John's College Cheerleading was established two years ago and our team of Freshers, with no previous experience of cheer, did amazingly in the annual Durham college cheerleading competition. There is no need for you to have done cheerleading, dance or gymnastics before, as everyone is welcome to join, including boys! This year should be bigger and better with a larger team, so why not get involved?
Victoria McArthur
Charlotte Gregory
John's cricket has got some great players staying on from last year, but we do welcome any Fresher talent coming through to help us do well in the league. Cricket at Johns is aimed at all levels: whether you really want to work on your game and win matches, or if you just want to come along for the banter, beer and pimms. We're always looking for new players and hope that you'll join us.
Captains Team
Oscar Dewhurst Indoor A & Outdoor T20 A
Alex Duthie-Thomas Indoor A & Outdoor T20 A
Cross Country
Jamie Ostrer
St. John's Darts Club remains one of the most prestigious and decorated College Darts teams to this date, after a slumping few years since the epic dynasty that was capped with a trophy win at the end of the 2009/2010 series. The B team were crowned this season as league champions. We are looking for men and women, ANY skill level, to join our Club and help us to reinstate the standard that brought victory to the club. Games are played on Monday nights and provide a perfect break from the studying with a cheeky pint and a chance to throw some arrows. Depending on interest, there may the possibility of adding a fresher's team. Come on down and give it a try.
Austin Wright
Jake Lal
Football (Men's)
If you enjoy playing football, either at the highest level or just socially, then sign up for St. John's Football. We have 3 competitive teams and matches every week, so regardless of your ability there will be a game time for you! The Football Club is also an excellent way of socialising and brings together guys from every year and every course. We will be having a number of team socials throughout the year, so you can get to know each other both on and off the pitch. We are hoping for a big fresher turnout to enhance our squad at every level so sign up at the Freshers Fair. We're really looking forward to meeting you all this Autumn!
Captains Team
George Ray Team A
Will Smith Team B
Henry Hoyle Team C
Ben Seimon Team A, B, C
Pouya Heidari Team A, B, C
Football (Women's)
St. John's Women's Football is arguably the friendliest and most enjoyable team to belong to in college. We welcome complete beginners just as we do more experienced players. Everyone's skills and fitness develop through the year while having a great time playing. Obviously winning matches is brilliant, but we don't take it too seriously; we honestly aim just to have as much fun in training (once a week) and 43 games (usually every weekend) as we possibly can. Because of this everyone has a great time no matter the score. Club socials will be put on throughout the year and we draw many purely social members as well as those who come to train and play. If you want to make friends from across year groups and become awesome at footie while having a laugh, then don't hesitate to sign up at the Sports and Societies Fair.
Captains Team
Katherine Eley Team A
Hockey (Men's)
St John's Men's hockey are looking to push up a couple of places to win the league this coming season, so we're looking for as many people as we can to get involved. Any previous hockey experience would be great, but also for anyone looking to try a new sport then look no further! We run a training session once a week, with matches (on average) once a week also. Everyone is very welcoming and this year we'll be looking to have more socials to help us through what will be a tough but enjoyable season. There will be taster sessions in the first couple of weeks so keep an eye out, and come find us at the sports & societies fair to sign up!
Captains Team
Gregor Bailey Team A
Hockey (Women's)
St. John's Women's Hockey Club is an amazing team to belong to. As well as advanced players we have people who haven't played in a few years as well as some complete beginners; everyone is welcome! With training once a week and matches most weekends everyone quickly learns new skills, gets fit, and starts playing as a team. We share training times with the men's hockey team and occasionally train together or have short mixed matches for fun and skill development. We will have many socials (some joint with the men's team) that are always great fun and the best way to get to know everyone. Sign up at the Sports and Societies Fair!
Captains Team
Sian Cogan Team A
Beth Jones Team A
Mixed Lacrosse
John's Mixed Lacrosse team are the current league champions with an unbeaten season. So, if you want to keep this winning streak going, we hope to see you there! Don't worry if you haven't played before, our team is full of people who hadn't picked up a stick before coming to Durham. We have had such an amazing team spirit this last year and fully intend to continue the tradition of 'playing for fun'. The socials will be banging and the team even more so, so please EVERYONE come out and try out!
Captains Team
Jacob Van-Nieuwkerk Team A & B
Katherine Eley Team A & B
St. Johns Netball includes netballers of all standards and is a great way to meet some new people in other years and get a bit of a run around. We have an A and a B team as well as the possibility of entering a friendly/mixed league, if interest is high! We train once a week on a Wednesday (as long as it's not snowing or pouring!) and try to get everyone a game most weekends. No experience is needed so feel free to come down to the taster day and training sessions whether it's due to your love of netball or just because you want to try something new (or maybe that you last played when you were 10). Hope to see many of you there!
Captains Team
Emma Sharpe Team A
Ellena Clarkson Team A & B
Sian Round Team B
Grace Gibson Team B
Playing pool is a great opportunity to visit other colleges and enjoy a nice, chilled out evening. Over the past few years, Johns Pool has gone from strength to strength, from having only one team in 2013/2014 to four last year, and seeing both the A and B teams get promoted. Our quest to finally get some Johns representation in the Premiership is not yet complete - we need some talented freshers to help get us there for next year! But if you’d like something a little more casual you can always join one of our teams in the friendly ladder. Whatever your ability, there’s a place for you in Johns Pool. The more the merrier. This year Johns A play matches on Sundays, Johns B on Tuesdays and matches for the friendly ladder teams can be arranged for days that suit you best. Oh, and we have some quality socials. So hopefully see you soon!
Kieran Lobb
The John's rounders B team have been Durham's fairytale story Leicester City style. We won the premiership with style and swagger - and are very deserving champions. We desperately need some new blood to solidify our position as the best sports team in Durham and welcome players of any ability.
Captains Team
Billy Franks Team A & B
Ben Seimon Team A & B
John's is all about Rowing. In fact, although we are independent of the SJCR, the College Boat Club is the biggest society in the college and is a great way to engage in the college community. As one of the smallest colleges we significantly punch above our weight and challenge the larger colleges in all events. Open to anyone of any ability, we encourage you to push yourself to your limits, but we also have a gentler social side for those who wish to enjoy the relaxed side of rowing. For those who have never raced before, joining the boat club as a fresher leads you straight into training for the inter- collegiate event called the Novice Cup, a fun and engaging competition that John's does traditionally very well in (although the event was rained off last year).

Both experienced and inexperienced new rowers will have the opportunity race all over the country; last year we sent two men's 8s and a women's 8 down to London to race on the Thames for the Head of the River Race, and this year we hope to send crews to other national events such as BUCS, Marlow and Met Regattas and potentially Henley Royal. We are also undergoing a huge improvement plan worth tens thousands of pounds, which we aim to provide us with new and better equipment into the future.

Finally, as a club we are famous for our socials that go down in history as nights to remember nearly every time we have one, and we have many formal events too such as our Christmas Ball and our Annual Dinner. I encourage you to come along and sign up to the boat club during the fresher's fair, it's challenging, fun, very social and you won't regret it.

Captain of Boats Team
Seb Nickols Rowing A
Rugby (Men's & Women's)
The rugby club at John's is open to all, from people who have never played before to those who have been playing most of their lives. The club competes at the level below university standard and has a proud culture and past, with some notable success in seasons gone by. There will be training every week and it will be useful, instructive and fun as well as challenging at times. As well as actually playing rugby, a key aspect of our rugby club is the socials, so expect the most regular and best socials in college.
Captains Team
Charlie Lyon Men's Rugby Union A
Despite being a small club, we had a very successful season last year. Our Men's team suffered heartbreak in the premiership in the final match and finished second. However, they won the cup. With three university players next year we will again be competing for the title. Players of any standard are welcome, and this year we will try to run an organised training/coaching session once a week to cater for all abilities, with matches at weekends. Ratified at the end of last summer, women's squash is our most recent society and will be going joint with our neighbours’ Chad's. We are on the lookout for players! Any queries please get in touch. We'll be at the sports & societies fair so you can sign up.
Captains Team
Alex Osborne Men's A & B
Alex Hodgson Women's A
Table Tennis
Table Tennis is one of the more relaxed and social sports. We are hoping to run two sessions a week, one as a casual session for a bit of fun and one as a more serious training session for those who want to compete against other colleges. Come along if you fancy it, if anything the inevitable beer pong socials promise to be a good laugh!
Captains Team
Joe Pearman Team A & B
Sam Feaster Team A & B
John's tennis is extremely relaxed and has a nice chilled atmosphere. Everyone is welcome to join whatever your level. The more the merrier! In the summer term we train once a week and play a few matches against the other colleges. Anyone is welcome to come and play, both at training and matches! Remember to bring your rackets!
Captains Team
Lottie Palmer Team A
Volleyball (Mixed)
St John's volleyball team is very relaxed with people of all standards more than welcome! A good one to come along to if you would rather train and play 46 matches indoors on rainy/snowy Durham days. Feel free to come along to learn a new skill and hang out with some new people. Hope to see many of you there!
Captains Team
Francis Bertschinger Team A & B
Ultimate Frisbee
Frisbee at John's is one of the most laid back sports and traditionally one of our most successful. It's something that no-one has ever really done before they come to John's so don't worry if you don't yet know your hammers from your chicken wings. Teams are mixed and we play all throughout the year (yes, in the snow too). So come along and we look forward to seeing you out there.
Captains Team
Joel Gilbert Team A & B
Sophie Hudson Team A & B


Bailey Theatre Company
The Bailey Theatre Company is the official platform for all things theatrical in John's. Whether your interest is in acting, tech and backstage, make-up and costume, producing or even just watching the many plays that Durham has to offer, BTC is the society to join - with no prior experience necessary. We hold a number of productions over the course of the year (including the annual Johns-only Summer Shakespeare) - not only are these of very high quality, having been nominated for a number of awards last year, but also are great fun for all involved! Look out for our stand at the college Societies Fair during Fresher's week.
Fraser Logue
Tom Holt
Cheese Society
Born recently from a dream to provide free, quality cheese to students. With a motto of “Brie There or Brie Square” and headed up by ”The Big Cheese”, we meet roughly once a term and sample four different locally produced cheeses.
Christian Union
St John's Christian Union exists for every student in John's to have a chance to hear and respond to the gospel - the good news that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected after three days to open up a relationship with God and the certain hope of spending eternity with him. We meet on Fridays at 6:45 in the Wallis Room to encourage each other to share this news, and put on several events each term proclaiming this news to which all Johnians are very welcome. See you soon!
Henry Silva
Anna Burkill
John's Music Society
JMS does exactly what it says on the tin – we are responsible for all the musical events that happen in and around college. Whether you enjoy performing, conducting, technical set up, working behind the scenes, or simply listening to music, JMS is the society to get involved in! We host many events each term, ranging from formal concerts and recitals, to more relaxed open mic nights. There is so much to get involved in, with ensembles rehearsing weekly throughout term, regular performance opportunities and the occasional social to keep things ticking along. The groups under the JMS umbrella include the Barbershop and Barbieshop singers, SJC Jazz Band, Windband, Clarinet Quartet, SJC Choir, String Ensemble, and 3 Nymphs and 2 Shepherds and a new vocal ensemble dedicated to singing madrigals. There is always space for members to set up new ensembles and the committee will always be more than happy to assist.

If you want to get involved in any aspect of JMS then come along to the Fresher's Fair, where you will be able to sign up to our mailing list and join our Facebook group. We will also host a welcome party in the first few weeks of term, where you can meet everyone and find out more. Everyone is welcome at any JMS event, so please come along to whatever you want to – we're a friendly bunch! If you want further information beforehand, feel free to email us! We look forward to meeting you all in September. Oh, and don't forget to pack your instrument!
Samantha Spruce
Real Ale Society
Vito Bowen