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 number and has reached over 100 boys who train competitively and represent the school at local and national level. Our oarsmen are distributed throughout Years 7 to Upper Sixth.
Year 8 (J13)
In Year 8 the boys develop their skills on the water. They are able to train twice a week after school until the October half term break. After-school training resumes after the February half term break. The boys can train on Saturday mornings throughout the year.
Year 9 (J14) – Moving on to the next stage
When athletes reach Year 9 they row in games in the Easter and Summer terms and usually train twice a week after school. They begin land training in earnest and discover the delights of circuits and ergos. By this stage they should all have perfect technique and be well prepared for their first year of national competitions. Year 9 boys can train on Saturday mornings throughout the year.
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 in the second and third terms and usually train on Saturday mornings and three times a week after school. They race at local and national events.
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 at the National Schools Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta qualification.
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.