Rackets, one of this country's oldest court games, and the forerunner of squash, thrives at Cheltenham College!
Under the watchful eyes of Mark Briers, the Professional, and Karl Cook, Master in Charge, rackets occupies a special place near the heart of College sport. Situated in the pavilion, the rackets court is open every day until 8.00pm. As a sport played in 15 of the country's most prestigious public schools, it teaches boys (who play it alongside their major team games) to both move and watch a ball: with speeds in excess of 100mph, each shot can be likened to teeing off down the fairway; for cricketers, it's their winter nets. In short, it is a game not to be missed.
College's rackets was reborn 20 years ago as the court had lain dormant since before the war. Since its reopening in 1988, College has climbed its way to be one of the top schools in the country. We have been National Champions three times in the past eight years, outstripping Eton and Harrow, and we have rarely been out of the top four. There are Public Schools Championships held at London's Queen's Club twice a year at which College has a healthy representation, where we have recently won 2011's Public Schools U16 Singles and Doubles tournaments, as well as the 2nd Pairs tournament. College was also represented in the Public Schools Championship Final and The Foster Cup Final - such successes means that The Faber Cup currently resides at College.
The current World Champion, Jamie Stout, is an Old Cheltonian, and the Old Cheltonian Rackets Club has a busy fixture list where players of all abilities savour the thrill of rackets. Boys are encouraged to give it a go from their very first few weeks at College, and once hooked, will find a wealth of opportunities opening up for them. Often, just one hit is all it takes!