Cricket is the summer sport of choice and is hugely popular with all the boys at Blue Coat. In recent years, the cricket club has grown hugely and now boasts 17 teams: U12A-D, U13A-D, U14A-C, U15A-B, U16 XI and 1st XI-3rd XI. The cricket club plays on a tough circuit, including well-known cricket schools such as: Abingdon, Portsmouth Grammar, Bradfield, RGS Guildford, Wellington College and Radley, and the celebrated MCC. Most fixtures are played on Saturday mornings and afternoons, with some games played mid-week.
We enter the County Cup at all age groups up to U15, and have won the cup 18 times at U12 and U13 since 2007. Our 1st XI enter the prestigious HMC National T20 competition, as well as hosting our own T20 Festival as a part of our annual cricket week.
Recent and upcoming tours include Dubai for the Senior cricketers, Eastbourne College Festival and Gurnsey for the Juniors.
Blue Coat is the home to the Berkshire Youth Cricket training centre, which is where the county age group sides host their training and play matches. We are fortunate enough to have three county age-group coaches on the staff, including the head of Berkshire youth cricket, Mark Allum. This partnership works extremely well and we have a large number of boys representing the county and beyond at all age groups.
Football is the major sport in the spring term. At the junior level all pupils take part in football during games lessons and those involved in various age group squads have an additional after-school training session. Fixtures may take place in games lessons, but most will take place on Saturday mornings.
Blue Coat always plays two and occasionally three teams in most age groups up to senior level. At senior level we play 1st XI – 4th XI matches each week during the term, with additional regular fixtures for 5th, 6th and 7th teams – and sometimes even 8th and 9th teams.
Football teams enter the County Cup at all age groups, even where opening fixtures have to be played in the first term. The U15s tour each year at Easter to Ligugé (the twinned town of Sonning) and La Rochelle in France, where they play both football and rugby.
Blue Coat is fortunate to be situated on the River Thames close to Sonning Lock, with a new boat house on site. The rowing club is growing in numbers and has reached over 100 boys and girls who train competitively and represent the school at local and national level. Our oarsmen and women are distributed throughout Years 9 to Upper Sixth with the opportunity for the boys to try rowing as part of activities during year 8.
Year 8 (J13)
In Year 8 the boys have the opportunity to try rowing for a half term as part of activities and learn skills on the rowing machines and on the water. It is a great chance for the boys to have their first rowing sessions before they have the opportunity to choose it as one of their games options for any or all of their three terms from year 9 onwards.
Year 9 (J14) – Moving on to the next stage
When the boys reach Year 9 they have the opportunity to row in games through all three terms with additional training available twice a week after school and on Saturday mornings if they choose. They begin land training in earnest and discover the delights of circuits and ergos. By this stage they will be developing their fitness and technical ability on the water and be well prepared for their first year of national competitions.
Year 10 (J15) – Moving on from Sculling
When boys reach Year 10 they are able to begin rowing (with one oar). They will row during games throughout the year and train Saturday mornings and three times a week after school. They race at local and national events throughout the year and will join the squad on the annual Easter training camp.
Senior Squad (J16 – J18)
In Year 11 the boys join the Senior squad. The senior squad will usually train six or seven times a week and their aims for the year are a top 10 place at the Schools Head of the River Race, reaching finals and winning events at the National Schools Regatta and racing at the world famous Henley Royal Regatta. The Senior boys and Girls have the opportunity to row in world class boats and compete at nationwide competitions amongst the best crews in the country. The rowers will achieve a fantastic level of fitness and gain a huge amount from their time with the boat club, developing their sporting ethos, sportsmanship and giving them further skills which they can take forward into their final years at the school and further education.
There is a very active Friends of Boating group which is a parental support body for the Boat Club with an active round of social and fund-raising events alongside providing fantastic support at races and regattas.
The Friends of Boating is a mainly parental support body for the Boat Club with an active round of social and fund-raising events.
Rugby is the major sport in the autumn term. At the junior level, all pupils take part in rugby during games lessons and those involved in various age group squads will have an additional after-school training session. Fixtures may take place in games lessons but most will take place on Saturday mornings.
Blue Coat plays three teams (and occasionally four at U12 and U13) in most age groups up to senior level and have enjoyed increasing success in recent years. Teams play in the County Cup each year, except for U15 and U18 teams, who are Daily Mail Cup entrants.
In November each year, the school hosts the Berkshire U12 Rugby Festival, a tournament that was inaugurated in 2008 and now involves 40 teams and around 650 players from more than 30 Berkshire schools.
Every Easter, our U15s tour to Ligugé (the twinned town of Sonning) and La Rochelle in France, where they play both rugby and football.
Touch Rugby is becoming increasingly popular at Blue Coat and the school now fields four teams in the Thames Valley region of the In 2 Touch league. Touch Rugby is a minimal contact sport that emphasizes running, agility and ball-handling skills and is played by both men and women.
Rugby 7s has recently been introduced at Blue Coat and we currently have a Senior team and an U16 team.