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The Roundup: Inter-Collegiate Sport in Michaelmas 2023

With the academic year well underway, what's new and who hit the ground running in Michaelmas? 


During this term, the Sports Service were delighted to release the ‘Cambridge University Leagues’ app, available through the app store, displaying all college sports leagues, fixtures and results in one place. The app has been created in order to provide a more accessible way for Cambridge University students to get involved in fun and informal college teams, in a recreationally competitive environment.

The ’University of Cambridge Sports Leagues’ network provides a straightforward way to view league tables, fixtures, results and contact information for all interested parties, including team captains, players, and students keen to take their first steps in college sport, as well as University and College staff & alumni.

Taking part in team sport has many benefits – along with the advantages for physical health, there is much to be gained in terms of vital soft skills, like leadership, teamwork, time management, creativity, and resilience.

Being involved with college sports teams also allows people to meet others outside of the course, household, and year group, and expand their support network much further. In 2020, the Cambridge SU ‘Loneliness Report’ found that individuals who are involved in team sports are, in general, much more likely to have a reliable support network and build more lasting relationships.

There are well over 3,000 students taking part each year in regular leagues (plus over 1,500 in college rowing competitions, cricket taking place in Easter term, and one off events in a variety of other sports!), and this report provides a short overview of those competitions.



Churchill College proved to be the team to beat during Michaelmas term, comfortably winning all their league games and securing the Division 1 title, with Darwin College in second place. Churchill haven’t lost a single game in Lent or Michaelmas 2023 and they’ll be hoping to remain unbeaten for the whole season. A tough term for Jesus saw them relegated to Division 2, despite having won the Cuppers crown back in May.

Elsewhere, St. John’s College gained promotion as Division 3 winners, while Magdalene/Emmanuel saw off the challenge from Caius/Clare to win Division 4 on points difference.

Pembroke College made their mark upon league re-entry, taking the Division 5 title with a 100% record, having missed the entire season in 2022-23. They’ll be looking to make it consecutive promotions in Lent and will have an eye on the Cuppers title.

As it stands there are 23 teams in total across 5 divisions, and 27 colleges represented.



It’s the halfway point in the football league, which runs over Michaelmas and Lent. In the Women’s League, a new Cuppers format has been adopted to guarantee all entrants more matches, with teams playing a ‘Champions League’ format with a group stage alongside regular league matches followed by a Cuppers and Plate knockout starting in February.

The main league has also changed to two divisions of 7 teams, again to guarantee more fixtures. In the main league, Homerton College and Downing College both remain unbeaten in Division 2 and look set to battle it out for league title.

After their unbeaten league season in 2022-23, Wolfson/Darwin/St. Edmund’s are aiming for a Division 1 title, although it is carefully poised with three teams close together; they are set to battle with Jesus College and John’s/King’s for the title showdown after Christmas.

Meanwhile at the other end of the table, after a big change to their squad in summer 2023, 2022/23 Division 1 champions Churchill/Christ’s/Lucy Cavendish took their time to collect their first win, which came against reigning Cuppers champions Fitzwilliam/Corpus.

Over in the Cuppers Group Stage, the groups mix Division 1 and 2 teams together – the top 2 teams from each of the 4 groups will progress to Cuppers knockouts, while the remaining teams will enter the Plate knockout.

There are currently two divisions of 14 teams, with every college represented in the league.

Pictured: Jesus College (left) and the Wolfson/Darwin/St. Edmund's teams line up ahead of their top of the table clash, the match finishing with a narrow victory for Jesus. 


Over in the men’s league, Fitzwilliam College (pictured at the top during their Cuppers victory in 2023) look to retain the Premier Division and Cuppers titles and have won all 7 matches that they’ve played so far.

Darwin and King’s also remain unbeaten so far, both in Division 2. It is still very much early days in the men’s league, with a lot of matches to be played in Lent, and with Cuppers now at the Quarter Final stage.

With 58 teams, the men’s football league has the highest number of Cambridge students participating of any college sport league.


Mixed Hockey

The Cambridge University Hockey Club League Secretaries, Sophie Ward (Newnham) and Ben Wheatcroft (Gonville and Caius), are doing an excellent job this year providing hockey playing opportunities.

St. John’s College demonstrate their strength in depth, with 4 teams in total (joined with Newnham), with their 1st team winning Division 1 during Michaelmas, although they were pushed all the way by Christ’s/Pembroke, who they were level on points with.

In Division 2, Emmanuel/Murray Edwards ran away with the league, and they were joined in promotion to the top tier by Robinson/Lucy Cavendish/Corpus Christi/Peterhouse. Going in the other direction were Downing/Churchill and St. John’s/Newnham 2, who’ll hope to bounce back in Lent, while reigning Cuppers champions Jesus experienced a high turnover of players, and struggled to a 7th place finish in Division 2.

With two divisions of 17 teams in total, and 26 colleges represented, the league has a great platform for growth.


Mixed Lacrosse

Every college team was blown out of the water by the strength of the St. Catharine’s College mixed lacrosse team in Michaelmas, who won every game to secure Division 1, only conceding 4 goals! The title win means St. Catharine’s have won Division 3 in Michaelmas 2022, been promoted from Division 2 in Lent 2023, and were title winners in Division 1 in Michaelmas 2023.

In Division 2, Magdalene went unbeaten to clinch the title, and will fancy their chances in Division 1 in Lent. They were joined in promotion to the top tier by Pitzward (Peterhouse, Fitzwilliam, Murray Edwards).

In Division 3, Clare/Homerton pipped Downing to the league title by goal difference, and both will be looking to make it successive promotions in Lent after an unbeaten Michaelmas!

The Mixed lacrosse teams currently has 3 divisions of 20 teams, with 25 colleges represented.


Netball – Ladies and Mixed

Murray Edwards became league champions for the first time in recent history as they edged it by a single point. They have stepped closer and closer each term since promotion from Division 2 in Lent 2022. Jesus, Emmanuel and Queens’ narrowly missed out in what was a very close division.

Coming up from Division 2 are league winners Magdalene and second placed Homerton, who bounced straight back after relegation from Division 1 in Lent 2023.

In Division 3, Pembroke beat Selwyn to the league title on points difference. A closely contested Division 4 saw Christ’s take the title, with Hughes Hall/Lucy Cavendish beating Gonville and Caius to second place and promotion.

Over in the mixed league, Jesus once again proved the team to beat, winning every game and making it their third title in a row! It was very close between them and Pembroke, who last won the league in Lent 2022.

There must be something in the water over at Jesus College, as their Mixed 2nd team won Division 2 to gain promotion to the top league, where they’ll be joined by fellow promotion winners Downing.

Division 3 was won by Selwyn, who will be joined in promotion by Pembroke 2nd. Queens’ and Robinson were the teams to beat in Division 4!

In Ladies Netball, there are 28 teams, with 26 colleges represented.

In Mixed Netball, there are 29 teams, with 24 colleges represented.

Pictured: Fitzwilliam College Netball



Queens’ retain their 100% winning league record in the 2023 year as they storm to victory in Division 1, making it three titles in a row. Queens’ showed their strength in depth too, with their second team winning promotion from Division 3.

Downing and Peterhouse gained promotion to Division 1, with Gonville and Caius narrowly missing out.

Queens’ showed their strength as their 2nd team won Division 3, with fellow promotion winners being St. Catharine’s College.

Emmanuel College had a great term, with their 1st team winning Division 4, and their 2nd team winning Division 5. Also promoted from Division 4 were Darwin, a new entrant for Michaelmas 2023, and from Division 5 Trinity Hall gained promotion over Clare College.

With 28 teams and 20 colleges represented in the league, this is already one of the biggest college leagues, and growing each year thanks to the efforts of CU Squash Club and Secretary Anant Gupta (Fitzwilliam).


Table Tennis 

The big sport at Girton, with the college entering 4 teams this term – including promotions for the 1st team from Division 3 and 3rd team from Division 5! 

Division 1 Michaelmas champions were Pembroke College narrowly beating Churchill to the title, while reigning Cuppers champions King’s will have work to do in Lent to retain their crown, after finishing 3rd.

It was an equally strong term for the Pembroke 2nd team, who won Division 4. Elsewhere, it was a super term for Robinson College, whose 1st team won Division 2, while Homerton were Division 3 winners, and Queens’ champions in Division 6.

With 30 teams across 6 divisions from 19 colleges, there’s room for the league to grow. It is space-friendly and only requires 3 people for each match!  



Ever popular at Cambridge, with 39 teams contesting the Michaelmas leagues, the champions last term were Gonville and Caius.

Outstanding college of the term would have to go to Pembroke College, whose 1st team gained promotion from Division 2, winning every game, while their 2nd team were victorious in Division 7.

Other league winners included Lucy Cavendish from Division 3, who made it back to back promotions! Division 4 saw Trinity College 2nd take the title, while St. Catharine’s 2nd won Division 5, and Corpus Christi won Division 6, with an unbeaten record, and Lucy Cavendish 2nd team making it a double promotion for the college.

The Lent term sees a new league season, as well as the start of Cuppers, which will run on into the Easter term and the grass court season! 

28 colleges are represented in the college tennis league.



Showing their strength in racquet sports, Churchill College took the Open Division 1 title during Michaelmas 2023. In the Women’s league, Downing were Michaelmas 2023 champions.  

With 61 teams across open and women’s leagues, and 30 colleges, badminton is one of the college leagues with the highest number of people involved.




An ever-growing sport at Cambridge, the college Ultimate Flying Disc league is run by the University Ultimate Club. It is one of only two leagues (along with women’s football) where every college is represented.  

It was a great term for Jesus College, who retained their crown as champions of the Indoor Cuppers event held at the University Sports Centre, as well as a strong league finish in Division 1 of the outdoor league. In the final they beat the joint Christ’s/Emmanuel/Magdalene/Pembroke/Peterhouse team, also bettering several other ‘joint college’ teams along the way too.  

14 teams participate in the regular outdoor college league across two divisions, while there were also 14 competing at the Indoor Cuppers. The Cuppers event was brilliantly organised by Magnus Oakes (Girton) and Chris Hew (St. John’s).


Rugby Union 

With 12 teams across three divisions, the league continues to thrive and offers opportunities for experienced players and beginners alike, with the support of College Rugby Manager Tom Stokes. 

44 fixtures were contested in Michaelmas alone – an outstanding return considering the unique challenges that rugby faces at a recreationally competitive level, and a figure that dwarfs the recreational rugby offer at most other HE institutions.

In addition, team captains, players, student referees and coaches were supported by development opportunities including an introduction to refereeing course and a first aid in rugby course.

St. John’s College remain unbeaten in Division 1 of the College Rugby Union league, with four wins from four. 

The Lent term looks ahead to the culmination of the 2023/24 league, as well as the culmination of the annual Cuppers tournament: through to the semi-finals are St. John’s, Fitzwilliam/Sidney Sussex, Jesus and St. Catharine’s/Homerton.

Pictured: The 'All Greys' (comprising the mature colleges of Cambridge!) talk tactics ahead of their fixture.


Pictured: Trinity-Christ's run it in under the posts for a try




As ever it is proving to be a busy year on the Cam! Michaelmas kicked off with hundreds of new students taking to the river for the first time, with many taking on the annual Queens’ Ergs (Qergs) event in early November. Alongside that, CU Combined Boat Club hosted the University Fours, Emmanuel College Boat Club hosted the Emmanuel Sprint Regatta, and at the beginning of December, the calendar year was rounded off with Jesus College Boat Club hosting the Fairbairn Cup.  

In the University Fours, Jesus pipped Lady Margaret to the Women’s title, while Magdalene took home the Men’s title over Emmanuel.  

Over 200 crews contested the Novice and Senior divisions of the Fairbairn Cup, with every college represented at the event.  Winners of the Novice Men category were Wolfson, while Novice Women winners were Selwyn.

We look ahead to the Lent and May Bumps in 2023 – will Selwyn retain the Pegasus Cup? - as well as the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) Regatta, where Cambridge college crews can pit themselves against university crews from across the country, as well as CUBC. 




Looking ahead, most Cuppers events will be taking place as one-off events during Lent and Easter term, with more information to follow! 

Check out the league tables, fixtures, and results here:

Or you can download the ‘Playwaze’ app and search for ‘Cambridge University Leagues’  

Alternatively, head to our website and read more on the College Sport page.  

For queries, contact



Rugby Union photo credits to Dik Ng.