#9 Durham University



The University 

Durham University is based in the North East and was founded in 1832 making it the third oldest University in England. The university’s historic setting combined with the modern science site makes Durham a unique city in which to live and study. Durham consistently ranks in the top 10 across the three national annually published rankings, including recently being ranked 7thin the Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, and is consistently a world top 100 university. In addition, Durham has the highest graduate recruitment rate of any UK university, is ranked in the top 40 for employer reputation, and is the Top 10 UK institutions targeted by leading graduate recruiters.

As a collegiate university its main functions are divided between the academic departments and its 17 colleges. The colleges’ responsibility includes domestic arrangements, most of the social events, and welfare while the academic departments provide a centre of teaching and research excellence. The University and colleges individually offer scholarships and bursaries to make studying at Durham accessible to all.

Approximately 200 student clubs and organisations run on Durham’s campuses covering arts, culture and faith, hobbies and games, outdoors, politics, law and music interests so there is something to suit everyone. Durham is also the No. 1 team sport university in the UK and has Britain’s largest student participation programme.

‘Enabling exceptional people to do exceptional things.’

The Boat Club

Founded in 1877, Durham University Boat Club has been an essential part of the university’s sporting programme. DUBC is a High Performance Training Centre recognised and supported by British Rowing, funded by the National Lottery and endorsed by many different sponsors. There is a real sense of student ownership of the club where individuals can make an actual difference on how the club is run.The club regularly accommodates a range of abilities from complete beginners to future Olympic athletes. DUBC accommodates a smaller squad than some of the top universities (due to the added availability of the college boat clubs) which encourages a strong focus on the individual rather than the team as a whole. Consequently, our top crews are regularly made of a mix of students including those coming from smaller clubs and schools, athletes who learnt to row at university, and athletes who have come from a strong rowing background. In addition to our senior squad, we have the top UK Learn To Row/Development Programme. DUBC not only aims to maximise your rowing ability, but also to develop you as a well-rounded individual with ongoing leadership opportunities and, most importantly, a group of life-long friends.

The club has a strong alumni network and is in the process of establishing an alumni boat club, ‘The 1877 Club’. There is an annual alumni dinner after the Head of the River Race where members of the 1stVIII’s are presented with their Palatinates.

‘Prepare to succeed’


DUBC is led by our head coach Wade Hall-Craggs, a Durham University and DUBC alumni himself, Wade has been coaching at DUBC since 2000, helping over 120 athletes earn their GB vests. In addition to taking all Durham crews to medal at U23’s, Wade has worked with the Olympic 8’s, leading a 4+ to win at Worlds, coached the GB scullers and TSS, and led the U23 sculling team to U23 Worlds. Our Women’s coach, Ian Shore has been part of DUBC since 2015, and has coached at Thames RC, Oxford University and was the National High Performance Coach for Wales. He has coached medal-winning crews at World’s, U23’s, Commonwealth Regattas and European University Championships.

The club’s Strength and Conditioning Programme is led by Jon Boyle, a lifter himself since the age of 15, Jon recently became the Weightlifting Masters U77kg Champion in 2018. He has been at Durham for over 10 years, working with both the men’s rugby teams and DUBC, helping several athletes represent GB at the U23’s and the GB senior team. The club also has a team physio, sports masseuse and sports psychologist to help with all aspects of the recovery process.

  • DUBC held the title of British University Champions (VL) from 2004-2014
  • At HRR 2019 our men’s 4+ made the Prince Albert final and George Bourne won the Prince of Wales in a GB U23 composite quad.
  • At HWR DUBC had 3 crews reaching semi finals in the Aspirational Academic Eights and Development Coxed Fours categories.
  • Three of our athletes competed at U23 worlds this summer, achieving 2 golds and 1 silver medal.
  • Several alumni competed at Rio 2016 and more recently competed at worlds for the GB senior team.
  • New, fully air conditioned, high performance gym with 2 performance hubs capable of holding up to 80 athletes per hour, including 20 multi purpose power racks with integrated Olympic lifting platforms and benches, 12 watt bikes and 4 ski ergs.
  • Multimillion indoor Sophie Hosking Rowing tank capable of holding 8 rowers, for both rowing and sculling, with full and wire blades for varied training.
  • Erg gallery with 24 Concept 2 ergos, 4 static bikes and 8 new RP3’s.
  • The Robert Gillespie Boat house situated on the River Wear in Durham just 0.6 miles from the University centre, holding our fleet of smaller boats including 2 brand new Hudson coxless fours and 2 new Hudson USP pairs.
  • A joint Boathouse with Tyne United Rowing Club in Gateshead on the River Tyne which houses our men’s, women’s and development 8+s. The river provides a wide 15km stretch with multiple coaching launches.

‘Growing leaders, Building teams, Innovative Partnerships’


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