The Freshers' Guide


Sport is one of the best ways to meet both other graduates and also the under-graduates. Although Sidney is one of the smallest colleges, it has a reputation for throwing itself into a wide variety of sports. The result is that we have a proud tradition of getting a lot of people involved, and success on the sports field that belies our size.

Playing for a University team (the Blues) is an excellent way to meet people from different colleges and establish a social circle outside of College and your department. It's definitely worth checking out the different university options at the Fresher's Fair and trying out for any sports that interest you. The level of University sport - excluding rugby and rowing - is not terribly high and you may be pleasantly surprised to find yourself travelling around the country as a member of the Cambridge Blues.

In addition to the plethora of sports clubs and facilities offered by the University, Sidney offers a wide variety of sports teams, both at a competitive and a social level, and where we don't already have a team there is always keen support for anyone who wants to start another.

As well as being a great place to meet people and have fun, the various sports teams have fantastic parties and formal dinners each term. These dinners are a real highlight of the Sidney social calendar (tales of boat club dinner cocktails are notorious). In addition to the formal functions most teams organise exchange formal halls with sports teams of other colleges, allowing a chance to meet other people and to explore the delights of dining at the various colleges.

Sidney's Facilities

Sidney has its own sports ground situated on Huntingdon Road about 15 minutes' walk from College, used for both practices and matches with other colleges. It has rugby, football and hockey pitches. On-site we have a squash court, which is free for all members of college, a gym and several rowing machines.

The college also has a shared boat house on the river. The Porters will be able to provide you with directions and the key.

College teams

The college sports teams (mostly comprising undergrads, but grads are play a significant part too, not least in order to play at a higher level) are listed on the SSCSU/JCR website. For those teams and the grad-only teams (which are less competitive) you will also receive numerous emails during Freshers Week inviting you to join.


Rowing is the sport for which Cambridge is most famous, and there is no doubt that time on the mighty River Cam is one of the essential Cambridge college experiences. Some come to Sidney Sussex having rowed before, but the vast majority learn everything here, and within the year can experience the ultimate in college rowing success by taking home a souvenir painted oar! Unlike most sports at Cambridge rowing is tried by almost everyone during their time here: over 1500 people take part in the May Bumps, the major summer races. Sidney normally puts out about 8 novice crews in the first term, so there is plenty of opportunity for everyone. Added to the fun is the much more important social side: exchange dinners with crews from other colleges and the infamous Boat Club Dinners. If you want to know more, check out the Boat Club website, or come to the first Boat Club party at the start of Michelmas term.

Freshers' Guide last modified: 1 November 2017
This section last modified: 2 July 2012