CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING
Clay pigeon shooting takes place on a Thursday afternoon as part of the activities programme. The School uses an excellent shooting ground in Priors Marston, which is run by the School’s coach, Nick Hollick. We enter three major competitions per year including the National School’s Championship.
Polo can be played once a week on a Tuesday or Thursday around other School commitments and it can also be taken as a Games option (and be played twice a week) from the Trinity Term of the E block onwards.
Lessons are at Rugby Polo Club (www.rugbypoloclub.com) which is based at Onley, a 15-minute drive away from the School. All polo is supervised by qualified HPA coaches. Once pupils have achieved a certain standard, they can also participate in club chukkas to help them hone their competitive instincts!
Matches for all levels are played in the Lent and Trinity Terms against schools such as Cheltenham College, Harrow, Stowe and Oakham, and the School also participates in national tournaments run by SUPA.
Golf is available throughout the year. On a Tuesday and Saturday it is an option open to students of all abilities. This allows our more serious golfers time to practise their skills, and for complete beginners to try a sport that is liable to hook you for life!
On Thursdays, the golf team works with our golf professional. We have a long-standing arrangement with Whitefields Golf Club, where we make full use of their driving range, practice facilities and 18-hole course. In the summer of 2010, we opened the Andrew Armitage Golf practice area at the School. This contains a large putting green with six putting holes and three full size flags for pitching to, a bunker and three large driving bays.
We play a number of friendly matches, mainly in the summer term. In recent times we have qualified for national finals in both the ISGA Matchplay and HMC Foursomes competitions. Rugby takes part each year in the Gerald Micklem Trophy at Woking, and in 2012, the School’s golfing team won the competition - the last time we held the trophy was 26 years ago.
The School has numerous single figure players and many of our recent students are now playing for Rugby in the Halford Hewitt.
Real Tennis is played at Moreton Morrell RTC, which is approximately half an hour from Rugby. Coaching takes place at MMRTC where we are also able to host matches. The highlight of the season is the national schools tournament.
Rugby is one of 14 schools which play rackets and one of seven that has two courts. There are regular fixtures in both the Advent and Lent terms, which are all on Thursdays to allow pupils to play rackets and the major game of the term. Pupils also play in the public schools rackets championships held at Queens Club at the end of both terms.
The School has a fine tradition of rackets. It is the only one to boast three world champions and has the second best record in the Old Boys competition. The School has had the public schools’ champion on 13 occasions and thus lies behind only Eton, Harrow and Winchester. Most of these successes were in part due to the coaching of the remarkable Gray family. The three Gray family members spanned 102 years as the School rackets professional.
Although success has been harder to come by for the current professional, Philip Rosser, there has been some. Richard Montgomerie, the recently retired Northamptonshire and Sussex cricketer, won the public schools singles and this was shortly followed by Richard Carter being one of only five boys in the history of rackets to have won both singles and doubles twice.
All boys try their hand at rackets in their first few weeks at the school, but just a few take to it. It is the fastest ball game in the world and it takes a keen eye for a ball for the pupils to see the kind of progress that encourages them to persevere.
To encourage boys there are many possibilities to continue playing after school, there have been two recent tours to clubs in the United States. There are also annual trips to Seacourt Rackets Club at Hayling Island and also to the Manchester Rackets Club.
RIFLE RANGE SHOOTING
The Rugby School Rifle Club meets every week on Wednesday evenings (8.00 – 9.30 pm) in the indoor Rifle Range. Members of the club come from all years in the school and they enjoy the chance to participate in this sport at whatever level is appropriate for them. They use .22 rifles and shoot 5 bull and 10 bull targets at a range of 25 yards.
In addition to the Club sessions, members of the E block have the opportunity to try shooting as part of the 2nd year AA on Thursday afternoons. This takes the form of an introduction to Range Safety followed by hands on practice shooting 5 bull targets.
There are various competitions that take place annually including a Senior Shooting Cup (The Michael Pattinson Trophy), a Junior Shooting Cup and a 2nd Year AA Cup. Pupils also enter the postal competitions organised by the NSRA as deemed appropriate.
Rugby Fives is played as a minor games option in the Lent term and attracts both boys and girls. A group of boys and girls is also selected to play on a Thursday afternoon throughout the year. This group provides teams that play fixtures on a Thursday and Sunday mainly in the Lent term. Bedford, Oundle, Tonbridge, Derby Moor and Radley are regular opponents.
House doubles competition at both senior and junior level takes place in the Lent term. The open singles’ winner is the leader of a ladder that finishes towards the end of this term. There is also a girls’ ladder. The national schools competitions happen in March for the boys and in May for the girls.
The School has three heated indoor courts, which are available for the pupils to book outside formal Games slots. Squash is played by both girls and boys in the Advent and Lent terms. Practices, supervised by a professional coach from outside school, are held twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. An extra practice session is held on the Friday afternoon prior to a Saturday fixture. All our opposition schools are within an hour’s drive of Rugby and the quality of squash on this circuit is traditionally strong. House-matches for both junior and senior sections of the School are played at the start of the Lent Term every year.
We provide a programme of structured and enjoyable sessions where all of our girls have the chance to realise their potential and to develop the skills of the game. We aim to expose our pupils to a wide range of activities and challenges, so that when they leave Rugby they are equipped with a varied portfolio of interests and experiences which will serve them well in adult life. To this end, we also offer Recreational Rounders for the senior girls who enjoy the social dimension of Rounders twice a week without the pressure of competing against other schools.
We have fantastic facilities for Rounders at Rugby, with a minimum of ten pitches at our disposal and all the equipment we could possibly require. We run mini-tournaments throughout the season, and every year the Rounders season culminates with an inter-house competition. We are also delighted to host a Prep School Rounders Tournament for local schools every year.
Association football is played by boys and girls in the Upper School. The boys field four senior teams in the Lent term and there are normally two D Block sides. All of these teams play regular fixtures. The girls play recreational soccer in the Lent term and have the occasional fixture against other schools.
The First XI soccer team has been extremely successful in recent years, winning the Crusader Cup four times in the last decade. House matches occur for boys and girls in the Lent term.