On land and water, we are renowned for sporting excellence and sportsmanship. At the sharp end, boys leave us with professional contracts and major scholarships to universities in the UK and around the world, but we give boys of all abilities the support to achieve their goals. We regularly have more than 400 boys representing the College on a Saturday, which evidences a strength and depth that few other schools can match.
Central to our programme is a busy card of fixtures against other leading schools from across the country.
In the Michaelmas Term, rugby is our main sport and it is not uncommon for us to field more than 20 teams on a Saturday. Hockey, rowing and football are to the fore in the Lent Term, and cricket, rowing, lawn tennis and athletics are most popular in the Summer. Alongside these sports, many boys opt to play a selection of our minor sports; badminton, basketball, fencing, fives, lacrosse, rackets, real tennis, rugby sevens, squash, swimming or water polo, all of which are led by expert coaches.
We are fortunate to have genuinely world-class sporting facilities. In addition to acres of beautifully-kept pitches for rugby, football and cricket, our boys benefit from a strength and conditioning centre, sports hall, rowing tank, tennis courts, ergo room, swimming pool, courts for real tennis, squash, fives, rackets and badminton, and a nine-hole golf course.
We have vast experience in nurturing elite athletes, and have strong connections to professional partners across the country.
Structured programmes are offered to our top sportsman, which includes personalised strength and conditioning programmes, nutrition support and elite performance masterclasses. The Director of Sport welcomes enquiries from elite sportsmen and from professional partners at any time.
Rugby is an incredibly popular sport with 23 teams proudly donning the College’s distinctive cherry and white during the Michaelmas Term. First introduced in the early 1900s as an alternative to ‘soccer’, ‘rugger’ championed respect, camaraderie, humility and determination, values which continue to define the club’s ‘Gentleman Warrior’ ethos. From the Midgets through to Bigside, we foster a love of the game by focusing on the development of skills and decision-making, delivered through a fun and challenging programme.
We are fortunate to compete against other top rugby schools from across the UK, regularly reaching the latter stages of national competitions at all age groups. Rugby is the major mage during the Michaelmas Term, supported by a 7-a-side programme in Lent. At the sharp end, boys benefit from year-round support, which includes bespoke performance analysis, skills clinics and first-rate strength and conditioning support, ensuring our teams are as competitive as possible during a short season.
Master in Charge: Nick WoodBack to all
The Radley College Boat Club has approximately 165 boys taking part in the sport and regularly puts out seven J14 octuples, four J15 eights, two J16 eights and four senior eights. The sessions range from about five a week for the junior crews, to eleven sessions a week for the 1st and 2nd eights. We boast a beautiful stretch of the River Thames and are fortunate to be the only boat club within 6km, giving our crews the space to train hard and well. We have a total of 20 very experienced and committed coaches made up of dons and external coaches.
Our philosophy is to develop the boys as they progress through the school, focusing on skills in their first two years and then preparing them to compete more seriously from J16 onwards. In the Sixth Form, we aim to ensure that they can reach their full potential at Radley and to represent Great Britain at international level if they are capable. We take pride in being very competitive, but also strive to ensure that the boys enjoy the sport and display good sportsmanship too.
Master in Charge: Sam TownsendBack to all
The cricket programme runs through all three terms. The winter is used for technical development in preparation for the summer season. The school’s professional, Andy Wagner, is instrumental in the development of our players. He offers one to one coaching to the top cricketers in the school alongside two weekly net sessions, which are open to all. Year group squads each have a dedicated lunchtime session from October to March. A traditional bowling machine and a Merlyn spin-bowling machine allow boys of all abilities to develop skills for the summer.
The club has 19 teams and a very strong fixture list. With up to 275 boys choosing the sport, we have to be creative to organise fixtures for all abilities and ensure that the twin strands of performance and participation are catered for. The 1st XI play in two cup competitions. They won the John Harvey Cup and the Cowdrey Cup in 2017 and have won the John Harvey Cup twice more in recent years. However, whilst success on the pitch is important, the emphasis is on enjoyment of the game and a healthy respect for the values of cricket.Back to all
Our hockey programme involves more than 250 boys from all year groups. In a normal year we will field 16 competitive teams in the Independent Schools’ Hockey Leagues, where we consistently challenge (and often win!) the title. All boys have the choice of hockey or rowing in the Lent term of their Shell year and those in the top teams are expected to continue playing in the Remove and beyond. During Michaelmas Term, talented hockey players are able to take part in our bespoke hockey programme with emphasis on improving basic skills and game-play awareness.
The hockey facilities at the College include three astroturf pitches, which ensures that all our teams benefit from playing on the best possible surfaces. Our excellent facilities are complimented by a highly qualified and committed coaching staff. The team is led by Michael Hills (Master in Charge of Hockey) who is supported by our hockey professional Peter Bennett and coaches Graham King and Adam Jolly who boast a wealth of playing and coaching experience at national and regional level.
Master in Charge: Michael HillsBack to all
TennisBack to all
Football is a popular sport at Radley. We have three training sessions per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and regular fixtures on Saturdays. There are 210 boys who play and make up 13 competitive teams. Across a season we will play up to 100 matches across the club. The top three Senior teams, U16 A and U15 A sides all play in the Central Independent Schools League (CISL). In the 2023 season, all five teams finished as runners-up in their respective leagues. We encourage the boys to develop confidence in having the ball at their feet and being comfortable playing a fluid passing game.
Master in Charge: Ali HakimiBack to all
Boys are able to choose golf as a main sport in Michaelmas and Lent terms, and we field a team to play competitive fixtures throughout the year. Between 10 and 30 boys play golf full-time, and we use our own 9 hole course, driving ranges and our local club, Frilford Heath, one of the best courses in Oxfordshire, for training and fixtures. We are fortunate to have the use of a PGA Professional and an indoor golf simulator. We do not view ourselves as an elite academy facility, but encourage good golfers to compete regionally and nationally. We are regular finalists in the ISGA Matchplay and HMC Foursomes and often win the West of England Schools’ Championship, where we can field a Senior team of golfers all within a few strokes of scratch, as well as a Junior team with handicaps in the mid teens.
Master in Charge: Paul Miron
Master in Charge: Paul MironBack to all
We offer unique opportunities for boys to undertake a wide variety of countryside pursuits at our Countryside Centre. The College hosts a thriving pack of beagles and boys continue to hunt legally throughout the Michaelmas and Lent terms, as well as attending hound shows in the Summer. Boys also have the opportunity to flyfish for trout on the College’s two acre lake, with scope to fish competitively, and the College regularly sends clay shooting teams to the major school competitions. In addition to the wide range of field sports on offer, the Countryside Centre provides ample opportunity for boys to help with the routine management of hounds and livestock, and to support breeding programmes.
Countryside Centre Director: Charlie Herbert
Master in Charge: Tim Morris
Rackets has had a place in the heart of Radley’s sporting life for many years. We first competed on the circuit in 1887, and Old Radleian James Male (19XX, X Social) held a sporting record as the World Rackets Champion for more than 10 years. Our current programme has approximately 40 boys playing regularly. With one court ideally located in the central area of the College, the sport is going from strength to strength as we strive for success at national level. All age groups participate in the National Schools’ Singles and Doubles Championships that are held annually at the Queen’s Club in London.
Master in Charge: Kyle Willis-Stovold
Coach: James Rock
Squash is a very popular sport at Radley, perhaps in part due to it being an indoor option during the cold and wet months! The philosophy of the Squash Club is simple: to ensure as many boys as possible leave us having enjoyed playing squash and wishing to continue doing so. Squash is a games option in the Michaelmas and Lent terms and we have 20 fixtures throughout the season, many of which involve a 2nd V and/or a Midgets, Junior Colts or Colts team alongside the 1st V. We send a team to the Surrey Sports Park and Roehampton Club tournaments, and have achieved great success in recent years. We benefit from great facilities and one of the best coaches on the school circuit, Scott Handley.
Master in Charge: Anthony HibbsBack to all
Radley boys have sailed since the 1960s and still sail three afternoons each week at Farmoor Reservoir. We are members of the Oxford Sail Training Trust, allowing us to use a wide variety of dinghies, and giving us the run of an excellent piece of water all year around. Racing is generally the aim and much loved by the boys, though our not-so-secret main objective is to create passionate sailors for life. Traditionally, our biggest events are Itchenor Schools Week, various school team racing events within easy reach of Radley, and we have sailed our keelboats at the Warsash Spring Series and Cowes Week many times. Several boys also take part in the annual Seaview Regatta in the famous Mermaids every year.Back to all
Radley is home to one of the 27 real tennis courts in the UK. Real tennis (also called court tennis or royal tennis) is the original racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis is descended. There are currently around 30-40 boys who play regularly. Matches are played against other schools, both home and away. These events include National competitions in which our boys have historically been very successful.
Boys can be coached as their full time sport or as an additional hobby. A weekly programme is arranged to be flexible around the boys’ other commitments. Sessions also run in the evenings after prep and the court can be booked through the Club for weekend play. We are very fortunate to have excellent professional players, including a multiple World Champion as part of our Club and coaching team. The experience of playing at other Real Tennis courts around the country including Queen’s Club are all annual highlights.Back to all
Basketball is an increasingly popular sport in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms with approximately 45 boys taking to the court regularly. There are 12 fixtures a season, however the focus is very much one of leisure and enjoyment and the club is open to absolute beginners and more seasoned players. We are fortunate to benefit from the coaching of Desta Rudder-Smith of the Oxford Hoops who has raised the level of technical performance immeasurably in recent years.Back to all
Croquet is played in the Summer Term. Several Socials have lawns of their own and there are further lawns available for general use. Croquet runs as a Wednesday option, and there is a team for fixtures with other schools, including in locations such as Surbiton Croquet Club – home of the World Championships, and there is an invitational internal Pairs Competition each summer, attracting more than 200 players from across the College community.Back to all
6.2 boys can opt to play Lacrosse in the Michaelmas Term. Usually around 40 boys take part. Most learn to play across six hours of Wednesday Activity Time before they are thrown in at the deep end with a series of matches with girls’ schools. These are lovely occasions, whether home or away, with matches for both 1st and 2nd teams followed by a meal. Regular fixtures for Radley are Downe House, St Mary’s Calne, Stowe, Wycombe Abbey and St Helen’s. Boys quickly discover a fast-paced sport with rather more skill than they might have appreciated, but they always hold their own in matches.Back to all