From 14 May to 20 May, Oxford University Sport will be raising awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week, encouraging more people to get moving, and enjoy the substantial benefits that a more active lifestyle can offer.

This year’s Mental Health Week is focussing on stress, how to cope with it, and how to avoid feeling overwhelmed – issues which can affect both staff and students at a world-renowned university such as Oxford. Two thirds of us will experience mental health problems in our lifetime, and stress can be a major contributor to this.

Studies have repeatedly highlighted the links between physical activity and improved mental health, and exercise has been shown to improve general mood, relieve stress and calm anxiety.

During Mental Health Week we will be offering opportunities and advice on how to get involved with sport at Oxford, as well as sharing plenty of tips on how to live a more active, healthy lifestyle, one small step at a time.

We also have some top tips for beginners who are looking to become more active.

What’s On During Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, and try out something new during Mental Health Awareness Week 2018. We’re running some special, free of charge trial sessions, which offer the perfect opportunity to get active in a friendly, inclusive environment.


Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines dance, music, fighting movements, theatre and ritual. The game is played between two people to the rhythm of Afro-Brazilian music. It helps to improve co-ordination, flexibility, fitness and develop confidence through self-expression.

Join us for a free taster session – Tuesday 15th May 17:00 to 18:00

Stages Cycling

It doesn’t matter where you are in your fitness journey. It may be your first ever indoor cycling class, or you may be a professional cyclist. Stages cycling is dedicated to improving your fitness, health and cycling performance.

Join us for a free taster session – Saturday 19th May 07:15 to 08:15

Free trial swim

Swimming is a fantastic, low impact form of exercise, perfect for people of all shapes and sizes. Swimming offers an excellent full body workout, and you can go at your own pace.

Enjoy a free trial session during Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May).

Free track membership

Give running a go, on the famous track where Sir Roger Bannister beat the four minute mile – completely free of charge! Track running is the perfect way to really focus in on your exercise, and compete against yourself to beat your personal bests.

Students and staff can enjoy free membership of the running track.

Give us a call on +44 (0)1865 611476 to book your free sessions, or drop into reception for a chat about what’s on offer.

Sport at Oxford

Sport can play an incredibly valuable role in university life, teaching life-skills, building friendships, and providing a sense of community.

There are countless opportunities to get involved in sport at all levels at Oxford. College sport offers many opportunities include inter-college sport, while many colleges offer dedicated gyms and fitness facilities. You can talk to your JCR or MCR Sports Rep for more information.

You can also read more about the University’s sports teams here.

View our schedule of regular fitness classes here, and read more about swimming memberships here. Track running memberships are completely free for staff and students all year round!

If sport is not for you, simply making a small change, such as taking a brisk walk each day, can also be hugely beneficial, and should not be underestimated.

Keep an eye on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages for more information and advice on being active during Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ll also be publishing inspiring blogs and articles on our news pages.

Other Resources

While sport can play an important role in improving mental health, further specialist support is also available at the university. We would encourage anyone affected by these issues to take advantage of these extensive support services.

From counselling, to student advice and peer support groups, there’s no need to suffer in silence. Visit the University’s welfare pages to read more about the help on offer.

Posted by Alistair Webster in : Uncategorized,