For the past 21 years, 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 9.00pm. As a sport played in 15 of the country's most prestigious public schools, it teaches pupils (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 27 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. At the Public Schools Championships held at London's Queen's Club twice a year, College has made its presence felt; in fact as of 2015, we have been represented in 40 finals across all age-groups. At the Doubles, we have been National Champions four times in the past fourteen years, and have rarely been out of the top four schools in The Faber Cup for overall performances. We have also recently enjoyed successes in the Public Schools Singles Competitions where we have won both the boys (The Foster Cup) and the girls (The Judy Angus Cup) national singles competitions. We are the only school in the country which plays every other rackets-playing school, and we encourage as many players as possible to represent College in these fixtures. Internally, we have Lower College and Open Singles competitions as well as an annual House Doubles Competitions; there is also a healthy Common Room Masters Team!
Further afield, College has an excellent relationship with the North American Rackets Association and as a College, we have taken squads of 6-8 players on a number of tours. Encouragingly, OC Rackets has developed strongly, and we are currently national Old Boys Champions. The World Champion, Jamie Stout, is an Old Cheltonian, as are the British Open Doubles Champions.
Boys and girls 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!