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10

DRAGON SPORT

Looking back at the first

Draconian magazine published

in April 1889, it is evident how

important sport has always been

at the School, even to the very

first Dragons from 1877.

Dragon Sport

Inclusion, Variety, Excellence

The origin of the School’s name as it is today

came from the formation of a football club

when the School was known as the Oxford

Boys’ Preparatory School. The team had

Dragons sewn into their caps as a means of

identity. The rest, as they say, is history!

Football, paper chases and notes on

the successes of Old Dragons filled much

of the eight pages of that first publication.

Sports reports gradually increased in detail

and, in 1904, the first team photograph was

included. Sports Day was unrecognisable

from today: standing jumps, 100-yard

races and bicycles played a role, along with

throwing a cricket ball; all accomplished in

one day rather than today’s three.

The field comprised rough pasture on

the site of our present grounds. A horse was

purchased to pull a grass-cutting machine

and boys helped staff with this task. Rolling

the pitches was an activity undertaken by the

fittest staff; the luxury of a groundsman was

yet to come.

Health and Safety was as alien as the

Internet back then. Swimming was taught

in the Cherwell, hence the origins of the

“Clothes Test” which is still an important

rite of passage for any Dragon today. As part

of the new Art and Design Block in 2000,

the outdoor pool was covered and we now

have a pool which is the envy of the prep

school world.

Girls first came into the School in 1896,

and played ‘rugger’ from about 1918. It

was only in 1989 that strong foundations

for girls’ sport were formed. Hockey,

rounders and netball played a big part

alongside athletics, tennis and swimming.

Girls’ cricket, football, lacrosse and others

are now offered alongside more traditional

sports.

1904 August Lynams Cricket team - the first team photograph to appear in the Draconian

1965 Xmas Dragon v Portsmouth Grammar