Commitment to excellence

The university has a diverse array of sports teams and clubs to explore, and we're proud to announce our aspiration to become the leading sporting institution in the Eastern region within the next three years.

This vision is reflected in our commitment to excellence in every aspect of university life, including sports. One of the significant ways we measure our success is through the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league. Our performance on the field contributes directly to our BUCS ranking. Each of you will play a crucial role in securing points for your team and, by extension, helping us climb the ladder toward our Top 25 goal.

At Essex we understand that being a student-athlete requires dedication, discipline, and a balanced approach to your studies and sports. Our Performance Sport programme is designed to facilitate your growth by providing top-notch coaching, state-of-the-art facilities, and a network of fellow athletes who share your passion and commitment. It is an integral part of university life, aiming to support athletes achieve excellence in their chosen sport while pursuing academic success.

We are committed to supporting undergraduate and postgraduate athletes competing in our focus sports, plus other team and individual sports to contribute to our performance sport programme. Our performance sport scholarships and bursaries are aimed at sportspersons playing and competing at regional, national or international level, offering a range of benefits designed to help you focus on training and development, to reach your full potential, alongside your studies. 

Expert coaching

You'll have access to experienced coaches who are dedicated to helping you improve your skills, refine your techniques, and achieve your athletic goals.

High performance facilities

Essex boasts modern sports facilities equipped with the latest technology to support your training and development, including;

  • Essex Sports Arena – home of our Essex Rebels basketball and volleyball teams, the £12 million Arena is built to international sporting standards with seating for 1,655 spectators, new men’s and women’s locker rooms, state-of-the-art Performance Analysis Conference Room, and includes 23 courts for basketball, netball, volleyball, badminton and futsal.
  • Essex Sports Centre - home to our spacious Essex Sport gym, fitness studios, squash courts, climbing wall, and large sports hall housing a full-size basketball court, badminton, volleyball, netball and other court space. The centre is also headquarters for our Performance Sport Department.
  • Outdoor facilities - Renowned for our research on the benefits of Green Exercise, we use 40 acres of university grounds dedicated to outdoor sports activities. Colchester campus includes 2 rugby pitches, also marked out for American Football, 5 full-size 11 a-side football pitches, junior football and lacrosse pitches, cricket pitch and batting nets, a sand-based artificial pitch for hockey and football, 3 undulating parkland jogging routes ranging from 1.2 miles to 3.2 miles long, an 18-hole disc golf course and 4 hard court tennis courts with floodlighting for evening use, covered by a bubble during winter allowing year-round play.

Personalised support 

We understand the unique challenges of balancing academics and sports. Our dedicated support staff will assist you in managing your commitments and maintaining a healthy balance plus you will have access to a comprehensive support system designed to help you reach your peak performance. Here's an overview of what our program includes;

  • Athlete Workshops - we believe in holistic development. Throughout the year, we offer workshops on topics such as nutrition, mental resilience, time management, and more. These workshops are aimed at enhancing not only your athletic skills but also your overall well-being and academic success.
  • Lifestyle Practitioner - our dedicated Lifestyle Practitioner is here to provide guidance on balancing your academic responsibilities with your athletic pursuits. They can help you develop strategies for managing stress, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and optimizing your performance.
  • Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Coaching - our S&C coaches are committed to helping you build strength, endurance, and agility tailored to your specific sport. They will work with you to develop personalized training plans that align with your athletic goals. Read a bit more about our head coach Justin Mills
  • Sports Therapy - we understand the physical demands of high-performance sports. Our onsite Sports Therapy Clinic, as well as our partnership with an external physiotherapy provider, ensures that you receive the best care for injury prevention, recovery, and rehabilitation.
  • XPS Performance Tracking App - we are rolling out a cutting-edge XPS Performance Tracking App. This powerful tool will centralize your daily training schedules, S&C training programs, performance analysis, RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) scores, and injury monitoring all in one place. Moreover, it features a messaging function for seamless communication within your team and with your coaches. This innovative app is designed to streamline your training and enhance your overall performance.
  • Academic Flexibility - we understand balancing the demands of your sport and academics can sometimes lead to challenges, such as coursework deadlines or exam clashes, as a sports scholar within our Performance Sport program, you benefit from this policy, which has been designed to ensure you have the flexibility needed to excel both in the classroom and on the court / field.

Competitive opportunities

You'll have the chance to compete at various levels, from university leagues to national and international tournaments, subject to selection. 2022-23 successes:


  • 2022-23 BUCS Premier South League Champions – Women’s 2022-23 BUCS National Championship Finalists – Women’s
  • 2022-23 BUCS National Championship Quarter Finalists – Men’s
  • WBBL Cup Semi-finalists – Women’s


  • 2022-23 BUCS Premier South League Champions – Men’s 
  • 2022-23 BUCS National Championship Finalists – Men’s
  • 2022-23 BUCS National Championship Quarter Finalists – Women’s

Rugby 7s


  • 2022-23 BUCS Premier South League Runners-Up – Women’s
  • 2022-23 BUCS National Championship Quarter Finalists – Women’s
  • 2022-23 BUCS South Eastern Tier 1 Runners-Up – Men’s
  • 2022-23 BUCS National Trophy Quarter Finalists – Men’s
  • FA Women’s High Performance Football Centre  


  • 2022-23 BUCS South Eastern Tier 1 Runners Up – Women
  • 2022-23 BUCS South Eastern Tier 1 Third Place – Men
  • 2022-23 Two competitors made it into BUCS Individual National Championships
  • 2022-23 PCU Games in Rome – Rittik Anand crowned Champion 


Join a vibrant community of student-athletes who share your passion for sports. Connect, learn, and grow together.

We take great pride in fostering a strong sense of community and support, not only among our student-athletes but also with our dedicated supporters. The Tribe is a prime example of this commitment. As the proudest, loudest, and most inclusive supporters club in the UK, The Tribe was launched just last academic year and has already garnered significant recognition, winning the prestigious CUBO (College and University Business Officers) award in the 'Innovation in Student Experience' category.

This growing community, added to a progressive desire to make our game day experiences memorable for all, has also won the prestigious ‘Best Gameday Experience Award’ from basketball’s national governing body Basketball England for the incredible International Women’s Day WBBL event.

Sporting successes include:
WBBL Cup 2023 Semi-Finalists Men's Volleyball BUCS National Championships 2023 - Finalists Women's Football BUCS National Championships 2023, Quarter Finalists Athletics and LLB Law and Politics, 2016 graduate, Adeseye Ogunlewe represented Nigeria in 100m Rio Olympics 2016 Rhythmic Gymnastics - Victoria Clow represented Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Javelin & BSc Sports and Exercise Science, 2019 graduate; Harry Hughes became British National Champion in 2019
WBBL Cup 2023 Semi-Finalists

Sports programme and scholarships

Essex Rebels player, Claire Paxton
Sports scholarships and bursaries

The University of Essex is committed to supporting and developing high performance athletes. Find out whether you could be eligible for a sports scholarship or bursary, plus a range of additional benefits too when you join the University of Essex.

Explore the full offer

Read our blog

Inspiring stories, real accounts and what to expect at Essex; this is a space dedicated to the talented staff, teams, athletes and coaches part of the University of Essex Performance Sports and Scholarship programmes. 

Follow University of Essex Performance Sport on Social Media:

Thomas Jefferson Volleyball Player
"The scholarship has allowed me to develop and further improve my game to compete at the highest level in the UK and compete within the National team. One-to-one interactions with S&C and on court coaches has been pivotal in my successes over the last two years as we aim for success in BUCS, the Cup and the Super League."
Thomas Jefferson Essex Rebels volleyball player who has just returned from South Korea, representingthe England National Team in the International College tournament
TASS Dual Career
Essex Sport staff member, Susy standing with her arms folded and looking into the distance
Get in touch
Performance Sport Manager Susy Davies
University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873016
Schools and Academies Looking to advance your students onto elite athlete programmes? 
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