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The athletics programme is run throughout the Trinity Term at the RGS. All age groups can take part in athletics and it is extremely popular among the boys with approximately a third of each year group choosing it as their sporting option. An athletics club is run for all boys during the second half of the Lent Term, which takes place during lunchtimes and a pre-season athletics camp is run during the Easter holidays. The RGS uses the international-standard, all-weather athletics track at Guildford Spectrum for games and after-school training during the Trinity Term.

All teams compete in regular friendly fixtures which take place after school and on Saturdays. The junior and intermediate age groups also compete in the English Schools Track and Field Cup. Last season, RGS student Gus Cockle won the 3000 metres at the English Schools Track and Field Championships which saw him go on to compete for England during the summer of 2013. His official time of 8:21 in the 3000 metres was the seventh fastest time ever recorded in the United Kingdom for an Under 17 athlete.


Badminton is a popular sport at the RGS and the four courts in the Sports Hall are well used throughout the year. The junior boys have opportunity to play in their club on Wednesday lunchtimes and there is a senior club after school on Fridays, at which about 28 boys play. Additionally, approximately 24 Sixth Form boys choose Badminton as their games option.

A squad, consisting of the best boys from the senior club, is entered in the Surrey Schools Under 19 A or B leagues, in which the School has had an impressive record in recent years. The RGS also hosts the Under 19 knock-out competition during the Lent Term. The year culminates with the Junior and Senior House matches and the staff versus boys matches, all of which are keenly contested with the boys usually managing to beat the staff A and B teams.


Canoeing is a popular option at the RGS which caters for all abilities from keen beginners to talented and experienced boys who have competed at a high level. The School benefits from its close close proximity to Dapdune Wharf where the RGS Canoe Club is based. The club meets weekly and currently has nine single kayaks, two double canoes and two Canadian canoes for exclusive use by the RGS canoeists. Boys who attend canoe club can work towards securing a British Canoe Union one-star and two-star award.


Chess has traditionally been a popular activity at the RGS and the advent of computer games does not seem to have reduced the interest in playing with pieces on boards. As well as the leisure aspect of the club, more serious players have the opportunity to compete in inter-school matches and the School currently runs three teams in the Surrey Schools League. Teams also enter events further afield such as the Millfield Tournament and the Eton Rapid-Play Tournament.

A number of players enter individual weekend congresses since these events provide important opportunities to improve. The chess club attracts players of all ages and it is encouraging to see younger ones learning from the older boys, thus ensuring a healthy supply of players for the future.


Cross-country is a popular games option which is available to boys from the Third Form to the Sixth Form over both the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. The School is fortunate to have on its doorstep some excellent cross-country running areas such as the Chantries Woods and St Martha’s Hill; spectacular views and challenging hills are a feature of many of the courses.

The RGS has a comprehensive fixture list of over 25 races, which range from inter-school friendlies to national competitions. The RGS hosts several events in the season including the Haskell Cup, a cross-country relay now in its 62nd year which attracts over 40 teams from far and wide. The House cross-country competition is a major school event and provides an opportunity for all boys to run for their House. The RGS team continues to be highly competitive in cross-country and boys are regularly selected to run for Surrey.


The RGS Fencing Club, open to all boys, is fully equipped with modern equipment and electrical scoring apparatus. Beginners are particularly welcome and individual lessons can be arranged. The School’s professional coach, Neale Thomas, is a FIE Diploma coach and twice Commonwealth medallist.

A distinctive aspect of fencing is that it is possible to make rapid progress and boys have progressed from beginner to county level in just one year. Laurence Peplow was the first RGS fencer to earn national stripes and reached Number 2 in the British Under 17 ranking. The current fencing captain Peter Robinson ia also a member of the British Under 17 squad and has represented Great Britain in several international competitions. The RGS has achieved remarkable results in recent years, including winning the Under 18 and Under 16 county championships; second and third places in the Public Schools Competition; and second place in the British Schools Team Championship.


Golf is a popular games option which caters to all abilities. Sixth Form students play golf during the games session on a Wednesday afternoon. This generally takes place at Guildford Golf Club, a picturesque, downland course close to the School. Students are offered the opportunity to have a lesson with the golf professional and then to hone their skills on the course.

Club golfers can play for the School team which enters one main competition, the ISGA Knock-Out; occasional friendly matches are also played. The RGS golf team has enjoyed success in national competitions, making the Plate Final of the ISGA Knock-Out Competition in 2015. Several boys have also taken part in the annual Surrey Schools Championships, going on to be selected to play for Surrey in county matches.


This long-standing and thriving club has achieved more national titles and produced more national medallists than any club in the School. It is run by the highly acclaimed and respected coach, Pete Swettenham, fourth Dan and BJA Level 2 coach. His enthusiasm and high expectations pulse energy through all the players, driving them to achieve fantastic results. The club runs every Monday and Friday throughout the year over the lunch break. The team competes for the School or as part of the partner clubs of Witley and Pyrford.

The RGS judo team has competed at the highest level winning the HMC small team competition in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The School also has a national cadet squad member in Oliver Platt and the present captain of the Oxford University Judo Club, is an Old Guildfordian, James Sheppard. The club boasts an excellent record in developing young players through their grades, averaging one Dan (black belt) grade each year.


Mountaineering at the RGS enjoys a strong tradition of adventure and ambition. Boys in the Fifth Form and above are able to take mountaineering as a formal part of the co-curricular programme, where the opportunities on offer and the ethos ensure it is heavily subscribed. Boys are coached in climbing technique, mountain safety and other mountaineering disciplines. Considerable time is given to training indoors on climbing walls; however, the boys also benefit enormously from climbing at venues including Portland, Harrison’s Rocks and Snowdonia. There is also a popular climbing club open to Fourth Formers and above.

The focus of mountaineering is personal development and boys of all abilities are welcome to join. That said, some boys progress to an exceptional standard and enter bouldering and climbing competitions. The RGS recently mounted an expedition to the French Alps, where multi-pitch routes, via ferrata and sport climbing tested even the most able.


Sailing continues to go from strength to strength at the RGS and is an extremely popular sport in the School, with over 200 boys of all abilities taking part throughout the year. Sailing is a games option for middle and senior boys, while an after school club runs during the Trinity Term to cater for the junior boys. Sailing is run by a dedicated team of staff who are RYA qualified instructors and senior instructors. The RGS has a fleet of six Picos, four Fevas and six Fireflys in which regular training sessions take place.

The Sailing Club takes part in a number of competitions across the UK. These are focused on two aspects of sailing: team racing and fleet racing. These regattas range from local Surrey School Regattas to the National Team Racing Finals, and the School also travels the country competing as far afield as West Kirby in Liverpool or Spinnaker in Poole. In the 2014 sailing season, the RGS team established themselves as the second best school in the country, finishing as runners-up at the British Schools Team Racing Finals in July. More recently the team came third in the Eric Twiname National Team Racing Championships, with a notable performances from Fifth Form boy, Patrick Croghan who is a former World Champions in his class.  In 2015, Patrick, together with James Dickinson won the Itchener National Fleet Racing Championships in the firefly dinghy beating a number of older sailors to the title.


Shooting has been a competitive sport at this school continuously for 100 years, and it maintains a strong profile within and outside the school as a result of success over a number of years. Boys have represented the School at county, national and international level; in the past forty years, the RGS has produced in excess of 25 Great Britain Under 19 shooters and a number of Old Guildfordians have gone to represent the Home Countries and Great Britain at international level to the extent of becoming Commonwealth Games medallists and even World Champions.

Boys have the opportunity to begin firing with air rifles in the First and Second Form, and both smallbore and fullbore shooting is started from the Third Form, including offering it as a games option from the Fourth Form. Prestigious competitions such as the Staniforth Challenge and Country Life Trophies are entered each year, along with entry into Surrey 10-bull leagues, in smallbore. The nearby shooting facility at Bisley allows the School to enter a number of competitions in the Trinity Term at fullbore, culminating in the NRA Schools’ meeting, where the RGS competes for the Ashburton Trophy. Two experienced members of staff run the sport, with assistance given by two old boys of the School on a part-time basis.


Squash is a sport which attracts a small but enthusiastic following across a range of year groups at the RGS. The School benefits from the use of the Surrey Sports Park which offers truly world class squash facilities. With six international standard glass-backed courts, including two premium show courts with seating for 160 spectators, the boys are inspired in a truly professional setting. As the London and South East Centre for Squash and Racketball, Surrey Sports Park is an impressive home for the RGS Squash Club.

High-quality squash coaching is offered for all standards and abilities and all sessions are designed to be challenging, fun and offer the opportunity for players of all abilities to improve and develop a better understanding of the sport. Squash is played principally in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms and boys of all ages take part. As well as arranging friendlies against other local schools, the RGS enters the Under 15 and Under 19 National Schools Competitions.


The RGS swimming team competes in county, regional and national level events. RGS teams have been very successful over the years at county and regional level and have usually qualified to compete at the English National Schools Finals, often qualifying for the finals at this competition.

The School competes in the Surrey Schools Individual Championships and last year Callum Ferguson became the Schools Champion for Butterfly, with three other boys achieving podium places. The RGS also competes in the Bath and Otter Cup which is an invitational gala for Independent schools. Over 50 schools contest these events and last year the RGS Senior Team finished tenth in both events. At local level, the School competes in the Guildford and District Schools gala in January each year. This is the major opportunity for junior boys to showcase their talents.

Table Tennis

Table Tennis is a popular sport which takes place mainly in the Michaelmas Term, with the keenly contested inter-House competition being the main focus of attention. This competition is organised into three age categories and runs during lunch-times throughout this term. The School has four table tennis tables and provides free equipment for the boys’ use.

Running concurrent with the House competition is a Junior Table Tennis Club which runs for one lunch hour each week. This club is aimed primarily at the First Form boys who are keen to hone their table tennis skills, or simply learn a new sport. It is also open to the year above if space and time allows.


Tennis is a very popular and well supported activity at the RGS. It is played mainly in the Trinity Term, although a club operates for all abilities throughout the year on a Thursday after school. The club includes drills and match play and is coordinated by experienced LTA coach, Jonny Thomson who is also Head of Junior Tennis at Woking Lawn Tennis Club. Boys of all ages compete in a wide variety of competitions: the Surrey School Leagues, the British Schools Tournaments and the Independent Schools National Championships. A number of friendly fixtures against local schools are also played.

The RGS has always performed well in competitions as there is strength in depth and great enthusiasm at all age groups. The School frequently qualifies for the county finals and has won the Championships twice in recent years in the junior age group. Each year an extremely popular pre-season Easter training camp takes place at the Heron Tennis Academy in Cornwall.

Weights and Fitness

Weights and fitness support the already varied sports programme at the RGS. The Fitness Suite was renovated in the summer of 2011 providing three Olympic-style weightlifting platforms allowing boys to maximise their own potential within the gym. Junior boys are trained to use the gym through a Health Related Fitness (HRF) programme which teaches them how to exercise safely and effectively. There is a designated member of the Physical Education Department who oversees all aspects of the training and provides individually tailored support to all age groups and all levels of fitness and expertise.

Added to the weight stations, there are twelve spinning bikes and two new state-of-the-art treadmills allowing for cardiovascular training as well as on-site equipment for rehabilitation.

In the Sixth Form, boys can choose weights training as a games option and they are able to go to the gym both before and after school. From the Fourth form and above boys are able to use the Fitness Suite upon completion of the HRF programme.

"Pupils enjoy considerable success in a wide range of national, regional and local sporting activities"
ISI Report 2014