OUR STORY begins in spring 2018, four months before Duke Kunshan University welcomed its first student-athletes in the inaugural undergraduate Class of 2022. Led by program director Zarko Krkeljas, DKU Athletics was tasked with designing an entirely new program that could cater to a highly selective, international cohort of students.
The preparations laid the groundwork for an extremely successful first year. Although comprising just 250 scholars, the Class of 2022 established 14 sports and recreation clubs, with more than 50 percent class participation. The university also formed varsity teams in popular sports including badminton, soccer, table tennis, and basketball.
With the bar set high, since then, staff and students have together established new traditions and built DKU Athletics into an innovative program that promotes healthy lifestyles, and the importance of grit, honesty, determination, and teamwork.
OUR MISSION is to foster a culture in which students can discover the values cultivated through sport, fitness, and wellness, to guide them on their path to personal and professional success.
Diversity is a cornerstone of the Duke Kunshan University experience, and as such DKU Athletics is committed to offering a wide range of sports and recreational programs so that students have equal opportunity to challenge themselves and explore their intellectual and athletic potential.
We strive to demonstrate to every student-athlete their responsibility in building a strong, vibrant community bound by shared values and respect. Our students are expected to lead through example and demonstrate integrity and moral character at all times.
OUR FUTURE is bright. DKU Athletics moved into a brand-new Sports Complex in the summer of 2023 after completion of the university’s campus expansion. The facilities include a fitness center, swimming pool, dance and yoga studios, a climbing wall, running track, outdoor football pitch, and multipurpose courts.
We are looking forward to hosting more competitions, tournaments, and other events featuring talented student-athletes from Duke Kunshan University and from universities across China and the world.