Haileybury boasts what is probably the best rackets court in the whole of Great Britain; it is certainly the "truest". Opened in 1908 and renovated in 2012, the court is the envy of all in the rackets community and pupils are fully supported by their own specialist school coaching team - a rarity today.
In 1908, at a grand ceremony performed by Sir Egerton Coghill, Haileybury gathered to attend the opening of its spectacular rackets court. Restored in 2012, it is seen today as probably the "truest" of all rackets courts and it is one of Haileybury's hidden architectural gems.
No expense was spared in its construction and its double gallery and coved ceilings cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. The dark walls of the court are made entirely from marble, delivering an exquisitely smooth surface for the ball..
From its humble origins as a modification of the game of fives played in 18th century prisons, rackets (or racquets) is a game today played in the UK almost exclusively by Britain's public schools. It also has a popular following in the USA and Canada.
Similar to squash but with simpler rules, rackets takes few prisoners.
With the ball reaching speeds in excess of 180 mph, the sport promotes quick thinking, spatial awareness and lightning reactions.
It is an ideal sport for boys and girls and offers much more than its excellent fitness and cardiovascular benefits. As well as improved general and psychological wellbeing, rackets promotes greater self-confidence and self-esteem, improves concentration and is a perfect release for stress.
It is an excellent sport for pupils needing "time out" from a busy academic schedule and encourages strong camaraderie among those who play it.
Haileybury has an active and engaged rackets community, attracting pupils of all ages. We are one of only around 14 schools in the UK to offer rackets coaching.
The College is an active participant in rackets tournaments with other schools. Pairs have reached the finals of the Public Schools Championship 11 times, triumphing on four occasions in a sport traditionally dominated by Harrow and Eton.
In 2013, Haileybury hosted the World Rackets Finals, attracting competitors from around the world competing as singles and doubles.
One of Haileybury's rackets successes is Old Haileyburian Tom Billings. Tom won the Canadian Open in 2015 and has also ranked as world number three. His cousin Sam, the England cricketer and fellow Old Haileyburian, puts a lot of his success down to playing rackets at school where his reflexes and hand/eye coordination were so well honed.
The Master in Charge for Rackets is Graeme Tyndall.
To learn more about our forthcoming rackets fixtures or about recent results, please click the link below: