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2017 · ISSUE 6



Old Draconians show that the School

took great pleasure in recording the

sporting successes of Old Dragons.

Olympic competitors were followed with

great interest, from Ronnie Poulton-Palmer

from the 1st World War years through to

British Tennis champion Tim Henman

(1987), Olympic silver medal winner

Frances Houghton (1993), Wasps player

Will Rowlands (2005) and flanker Gus

Jones (2007). Anastasia Chitty (2007) is

part of a large new cohort of rowers joining

the GB Rowing Team senior squad for the

Tokyo Olympiad. Many pupils today play

a sport in local, county and indeed even

national teams.

Today, sports are taught by a variety of

staff, often by keen sportsmen and women

who specialise in other areas. The playing

fields, now owned by the School, are

maintained to a high standard by a team of

professional groundsmen.

The Dragon prides itself on the variety

of sports on offer. Last year there were

matches in over 20 different sports including

badminton, squash, fencing, fives, golf, real

tennis, table tennis, sailing, judo and sculling

alongside more conventional, seasonal

sports. Children who initially found sport

challenging, often found something they liked

and have continued with it well after their

Dragon days.

The number of pupils in the School has

risen dramatically from the first 20 boys in

1877. Accommodating the 600 or so children

who now roam the same fields today is quite

a challenge. But at the heart of Dragon sport

is inclusivity. The aim is to bring the benefits

of sport to every child, just as it would have

been back at the turn of the last century. The

single football team that launched sport at

the Dragon in 1877 has given way to over

30 different sports’ teams which regularly

represent the School on any given match day.

Sport at the Dragon has evolved with the

times; the School takes its place as one of the

top sporting prep schools in the country. The

ethos behind Dragon sport has not changed.

A report written by the Advisory Centre for

Education in 1971 resonates today, “Despite the

compulsion to play games there is no cult of

games - no enforced watching, nor frenzy over

winning. On the sunny afternoon that I spent

on the fields literally hundreds of boys were

playing rugby with unfaked enthusiasm.”

The original Victorian values embedded in

the origins of so many sports are still relevant and

are reinforced through the Dragon’s core sporting

virtues of Courage, Discipline and Respect. Some

140 years on from its origin, I think the founding

father, Revd A E Clarke, would be delighted with

how his school has turned out, not least the role

sport continues to play.

Gay Sturt

, Archivist


Tim Knapp


Director of Sport

Olivia Strickland, now playing hockey for the U21 Wales

Challengers (see page 21), playing for the 1st XI in 2012.

1973 Summer Athletics at Dragon

1937 Xmas 1st XV Rugby

2017 Competing in the Mercia Athletics