Students at the University of Sydney

Student clubs and organisations

Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF)]]

Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness runs the University's representative, social and faculty sports programs. It also runs the campus gyms and the swimming pool ... visit the SUSF website.

On this webpage:


Early sporting clubs from 1863, for men and women

It is thought that the first University sporting club formed was the football club dating from 1863.

Some early men's sporting clubs
The Football Club team in 1871

The Football Club team in 1871, photo G3_224_0168, University of Sydney Archives.

The Football Club team in 1882

The Football Club team in 1882, photo G3_224_0260, University of Sydney Archives.

The First Grade Football Team in 1905

The First Grade Football Team in 1905, photo G3_224_1935, University of Sydney Archives.

A cricket club was founded 1865, and in 1866 the Senate resolved that part of the University grounds be reserved temporarily as a cricket ground.

Student and staff cricket teams in 1896

Student and staff cricket teams in 1896, photo G3_224_0004, University of Sydney Archives.

In the 1880s many new sporting clubs were founded, including the Boat Club in 1884 and the Athletic Club in 1885.

The most successful of the new clubs was the Tennis Club, also founded in 1885. The club was allocated four grass courts where the Quadrangle was situated, close to the Men’s and Ladies’ common rooms, allowing the men to watch the women playing and make disparaging comments on their game. In 1887 a separate Ladies’ Tennis Club was formed, the first women’s sporting club at the University.

Sydney University Men

The Sydney University Men's Tennis team in 1913, photo, University of Sydney Archives.

University Bicycle Club in 1897

Opening run of the University of Sydney Bicycle Club, 1897, photo G3/224/1548, University of Sydney Archives

A tennis group in 1889

A tennis group in 1889, photo G3_224_1260, University of Sydney Archives.

Some early women's sporting clubs
Women cricket and tennis teams 1890

Women cricket and tennis teams 1890, photo G3_224_0005, University of Sydney Archives.

The first tennis team match between Sydney and Melbourne universities in 1909

The first tennis team match between Sydney and Melbourne universities in 1909, photo G3_224_1433, University of Sydney Archives.

Sydney University (Men's) Sports Union 1890

Sydney University Sports Union (SUSU) was formed in 1890 for men students.

Sydney University Women’s Sports Association 1910

Women’s participation in sport at the University flourished in the early twentieth century and in 1910 the Sydney University Women’s Sports Association (SUWSA) was founded, followed by a campaign began for grounds and facilities for women’s sports.

In November 1911 the Buildings Grounds and Improvements Committee of the University recommended that three tennis courts be constructed for the women students in a position
to the east of the main front and between the curved path from the Derwent Street entrance and Parramatta Road (on the sloping ground in front of the main building). Senate granted not only the land but the cost of constructing the courts and also building, plumbing and outfitting the adjoining dressing room (later known as the Clubhouse). The courts were ready for play by 1913. These were the first purpose-built sporting facilities built specifically for the use of women.

The Hockey Club was formed in 1908 and in 1914 the SUWSA began a campaign to acquire a hockey ground. In 1916 the Senate granted the SUWSA’s application, allowing use of the ground known as the Square, which lay between the Oval and Manning House. The Hockey Square was ready for use by 1921.

The Women’s Hockey A Team in 1925

The Women’s Hockey A Team, 1925, published in Hermes Volume 32, Number 3. Michaelmas 1926, photo, Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Sydney Library.

Amalgamation of the two unions into one, 2003

In 2003, SUSU and SUWSA amalgamated to form Sydney Uni Sport.

Several years later the name was changed to Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness.

SUSF