Sport brings challenge, and a vital balance to academic life. Every afternoon, pupils can participate in a wide range of sporting opportunities. Our coaching staff consists of former international players and professionals, as well as current county and district level coaches. Their expertise and enthusiasm readies pupils to represent their sport at regional, county, national and international level.
The school’s PE Centre and indoor sporting facilities, based at Kingsgate Park, will undergo significant transformation and improvement over the next few years.
The redevelopment of the PE Centre to create a state-of-the-art complex will allow all our pupils to enjoy and participate in a variety of sports whilst simultaneously enabling the most talented and driven pupils to train and compete at the highest level.
Cricket at Winchester has a long and distinguished history.
The school has a collection of some of the most beautiful grounds in the country. The cricket programme, developed and run by our Cricket Professional, is also supported by a number of highly qualified coaches. Designed to encourage our talented players to reach their full potential, it involves a structured and dynamic winter programme, running from October to the start of the summer playing season.
A full fixture list is played in the summer term with block fixtures against a number of other schools including Eton, Charterhouse, Bradfield, Radley and Marlborough. There are also regular tours abroad, most recently to the West Indies and South Africa.
The water meadows, in which Winchester College is situated, are interlaced by the River Itchen. Its willow-lined chalk streams provide a stunning backdrop for rowing. Winchester has one of the oldest school rowing clubs in the country, founded officially in 1867, but its boathouse facilities are unquestionably modern.
Crews race at all levels, at regattas in summer and head races in winter. The majority of training takes place on the tidal waters in Southampton from the University's boat house. The pupils’ focus every year is the National Schools Regatta in May, followed by Henley Royal Regatta at the beginning of July.
Catering for all abilities, there are many school as well as house teams for pupils to compete in. Regular training sessions throughout the week prepare players for a full and varied fixture list.
We have superb pitches and excellent ground staff. A large number of dons bring their enthusiasm and experience into play to support a footballing community that permeates the entire school. All work together around our first full-time Soccer Professional, Jason Dodd, former Club Captain and Director of the Player Academy at Southampton FC.
Golf is an increasingly popular sport with pupils who have access to a superb 18-hole course at nearby Hockley Golf Club. As well as playing and training on one of the best chalk downland courses in the UK, we offer weekly 1:1 coaching with a Hampshire Academy professional and the opportunity to play in the top schools’ competitions.
We currently participate in The Micklem Trophy, the ISGA Matchplay Tournament, the ISGA HG Trophy and the HMC singles and foursomes. Former pupils have recently won the prestigious Halford Hewitt Trophy for the first time since 1948.
Winchester offers all three weapons: Foil, Epée and Sabre. Foil fencing uses a thick wire-like sword, Epée fencing involves a heavier sword, and Sabre is more military, with a weapon resembling a real cavalry sword. All three disciplines develop tough mental and physical agility and fitness.
We welcome enthusiasts of all abilities. Individual coaching is provided by experienced, national level instructors and, for those who need it, kit can be borrowed from the club. Pupils train two or three times a week, with regular fixtures against schools such as Abingdon, Charterhouse, Eton, Harrow and Westminster. We also compete with success in regional and national events, including the Public Schools' Fencing Championships.
Similar to squash but played with gloved hands, Fives is a highly sociable sport played at schools, universities and clubs around the country. Boys get a taster when they arrive and can play in teams at every age level. The fixture list includes Bradfield, Marlborough, Radley, Tonbridge and St. Paul's.
For social players, there are house competitions and a singles ladder. For those who excel, there are opportunities to play against adult teams and in national competitions.
Pupils interested in martial arts can explore the disciplines of Aikido, Judo and Karate. As well as learning non-aggressive skills for self-protection, pupils also develop their flexibility, balance and coordination, as well as an understanding of teamwork, self-discipline and defence awareness.
Aikido students have managed to attain a black belt in just under four years, under the tutelage of our black belt instructors. Judo players practise twice a week in the fully sprung dojo and enjoy friendly matches against several schools. Karate classes are taught by a black belt don with over 45 years of competition experience. Our pupils have won over ten golds as well as numerous silver and bronze medals in the recent Independent Schools' Championships.
Winchester College long ago invented its own competitive team sport involving scrums, pupils of all different shapes and sizes, and plenty of fun in the mud. When Rugby was first introduced to South Africa, it was the Winchester game that was played. ‘Our Game’ is similar to rugby, but there is less running with the ball, resulting in fewer tackles.
Affectionately known as ‘Winkies’ and only played in the Spring Term, the sport is entirely house-based. Matches are played from the elite and aspirational (XVs) standard through to mass participation (Junior XIs).
With over 30 sports and activities to choose from, whether part of the PE curriculum or an elective activity, there is something for everyone at Winchester. This flexibility is one of the strengths of sport here. It allows pupils to explore and pursue excellence in their chosen specialisms, leading to a deeper appreciation and a life-long enjoyment of sport:
Adventure Education (including Kayaking, Climbing and Mountain Biking), Aikido, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Cricket, Croquet, Cross Country, Fencing, Fishing, Fives, Futsal, Golf, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Martial Arts, Rackets, Rowing, Sailing, Soccer, Squash, Strength & Conditioning, Swimming, Table Tennis, Target Rifle Shooting, Tennis, Water Polo, Winchester College Football, Yoga.
The school owns 52 acres of playing fields, many of them situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In addition, the Winchester College Boat Club offers rowers a unique and stunning setting for training. Founded in 1867 and one of the oldest school clubs in the country, it is located on the River Itchen, close to the main campus.
Indoor sport facilities are undergoing a major transformation with a new Sports Centre, including swimming pool, due to open in early 2023.
Those with exceptional sporting talent are given maximum support and encouragement at Winchester. Our Sports Scholarships have been set up to bring out the best in pupils who demonstrate exceptional ability on the football or cricket pitch. We also consider pupils who show great promise in other sports including rowing, golf, hockey, tennis, squash/rackets, athletics and martial arts.
22nd January 2021
Despite a challenging 2020, progress on Winchester College's new state-of-the-art Sports Centre continues, as the school and local community look ahead to the opening in 2022.
2nd May 2022
Recently returned from pre-season training at a tournament in Spain, the first cricket team has had a strong start to the season.
29th March 2022
Champion javelin thrower Freya Jones has joined the Sports Department as the Athletics Development Coach.
14th March 2022
First year pupil, Arthur describes joining the team as Winchester competes for the prestigious Micklem Golf Trophy.
17th February 2022
This weekend saw the return of spectators to the annual Winchester College Football XVs match. Commoners Captain, Tristan Wigley reflects on a close game.
8th February 2022
Born out of the variations to the sport programme forced on us by the COVID pandemic, rugby has made a welcome return to Winchester College, in the guise of “7s”.