Minor sports operate throughout the three Quarters, subject to whether or not they are ‘in season’. Depending on year groups, participation alongside the respective major sport is compulsory. New Fourths and Specialists can enjoy a taste of all minor sports when they begin Oration Quarter, after which, they choose which minor sport(s) they would like to play.
Minor sports include: badminton, basketball, climbing, cross country, fencing, fives, golf, racquets, rowing, rugby union, shooting, squash, swimming, tennis and waterpolo.
Badminton is played throughout the year but with the main emphasis during Oration and Long Quarters. Charterhouse has an excellent record in badminton.The boys and girls participate in House matches as well as a strong circuit of school matches with opponents including RGS Guildford, Harrow, John Lyon and Wellington. The teams also compete in a number of tournaments, including the Surrey Schools League.
Basketball has grown hugely in popularity in recent years. The use of the Queen's Sports Centre (QSC) and access to good coaching has made in a very popular choice with all year groups. Specialists are able to choose it as their major sport of the term. When in the Under School the pupils can choose it as a minor sport. There are fixtures for the U19 and U16 team in Oration Quarter and Long Quarter, playing against a traditional local schools circuit as well as entering the U19 National Cup.
The Climbing Club is very well established at Charterhouse. The use of the excellent QSC climbing wall is of immense benefit to the pupils. The wall boasts difficult overhangs, chimneys, traverses and routes. Pupils can take climbing as a major sport option in the Specialist years or as a minor sport option in the Under School. There are also times outside of allotted sports hours where the pupils may use the wall under the direction of our qualified staff.
The Cross Country squad are out training every Tuesday and Thursday, running on and around the School grounds, working on hill stamina, flat ground work and very rough terrain. Led by Mr Hadley and colleagues each session is made challenging, yet enjoyable. There are traditional fixtures against Harrow plus other competitions throughout the school year.
The Fencing Club train on a Thursday afternoon and employ the expertise of Mike Johnson, an external coach. There are many boys and girls of all ages who compete for the School and many Fencers who compete at regional level.
Eton Fives was first played in one of the bays of Eton Chapel between the flying buttresses. The courts across the world and at Charterhouse reflect the peculiar features of the original court buttress, ledges, and steps. The game uses all these features to produce a team game (always played in pairs) requiring a high degree of coordination and ability to act to the unexpected. In this way it traditionally is played by cricketers in the winter term as a way to hone reactions. The game is almost wholly confined to England though there are some courts in the British Commonwealth.
Charterhouse is fortunate to have eight courts. Two have been recently refurbished and are the equal of any fives court in the country. Reburbishment of the remaining courts will follow in due course.
The basic pattern of play is quite like rackets or squash, but there is no singles version of the game, and you hit the ball with your hands (protected by gloves) rather than a racket.
The School Fives Club is thriving, with boys in each year group represent the School. Girls play the game and are take part in school matches. Regular block fixtures are played in the OQ and LQ against all the leading fives schools. Summer fives has been introduced but no matches are played in CQ.
There are inter-house competitions, individual pairs and team competitions at various age groups, as well as the popular Master & Boy Competition. Charterhouse has a substantial entry for the HSBC National Schools Eton Fives Championships, which are held in rotation at Shrewsbury and Eton.
The School has its own golf course (The Halford Hewitt Golf Course), a 9 Hole Par 34 course occupying 30 acres of Charterhouse grounds overlooking the beauty of the Surrey Hills. Pupils can opt to play golf during their minor sport sessions plus use it in their free time. The senior team competes regularly at Worplesden Golf Club. We also have a girls' team and a junior team. There are friendly matches against Eton, Harrow, Cranleigh, Winchester and Tonbridge. The senior team competes regularly at Worplesden Golf Club, whilst the performance squad enjoys expert training and coaching at Goodwood. Other highlights of the fixture list include the match against the OCs, the Micklem Trophy at Woking GC as well as the West Sussex Invitational. All pupils including beginners are able to take private lessons with our School professional throughout the year on the School golf course. There is also the opportunity for recently left second year specialist leavers to to operate the scoreboard at the 18th hole of the Open Championship.
The School Kayaking Club benefit from being local to Guildford where the School use Wey Kayak Club for its excellent facilities. Boys and girls in the Specialists can choose kayaking as a major sport choice or a minor sport choice if you are in the Under School.
In its earliest form during the 18th Century, racquets was played in the open on the walls of the yards of the two main debtor's prisons, the King's Bench and the Fleet. Gentlemen, imprisoned until they could find the wherewithal to repay their creditors, amused themselves with many different activities around the prison yard. These included skittles, fives, which was played both with the hand and a bat (as at Westminster School), and some brought tennis rackets with them and improvised against any convenient wall, sometimes with no side walls and always without a back wall.
In the middle of the 19th Century, racquets played in covered courts began to predominate. The MCC built a court in 1844 next to the old tennis court, and the old Princes Club opened in 1853 with several courts as well as two tennis courts.
Charterhouse is fortunate to have two racquets courts and a full time professional in Martin Crosby who coaches the various squads and oversees the development of the sport at the School.
Rowing is on offer to the Specialists and the Under School. The boat club use the QSC ergo machines and also take to the river at the Walton on Thames Rowing Club.
Though a predominantly football school, the senior boys can choose to play rugby in Oration Quarter. The School operate one senior squad who train on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There are regular fixtures against local schools including RGS Guildford, Cranleigh and Sevenoaks. As well as this the players have full access to the gym and QSC facilities to enhance their athletic development.
We currently have two shooting teams, the CCF Shooting Team and the School Shooting Team. The CCF Shooting Team represents the CCF in all local, national and commonwealth Cadet Force Shooting Competitions, and the School Shooting Team represents Charterhousel in The British Schools Small-Bore Rifle association leagues and in National small bore competitions.
We carry out small bore shooting (Air Rifles, .22 rifles military and private Anschutz rifles) on the school ranges; Cadet GP Rifle and Cadet Target rifle on Military ranges; and occasionally some Shotgun clay target shooting on local ranges.
The teams meet every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, with an extra training session run by an NSRA coach on Tuesday evenings for the top competitors. We are currently developing electronic shooting training at Charterhouse so that time waiting to shoot on the range is not wasted (four lanes on the range and 15 boys in the teams).
At Charterhouse there are four squash courts. There are a number of squash teams during Oration Quarter and Long Quarter: 1st V, 2nd V, U16 V, U15 V and U14 V. Training takes place on Mondays for seniors, Wednesdays for all team squads and Thursdays for 4ths. Match days are usually on Thursdays. Charterhouse enter the National Cups for U19 and U15 boys in both of which we have had great success over the past few seasons.
Over the past four years the School has won the Surrey group in the U19 Cup, proving to be the best Independent School in Surrey during that time; reaching the last 8 nationally in both the U19s and U15s in the past few years culminating in third position in the National Finals at Manchester to take place in March 2017.
Charterhouse also enter three other one-day school tournaments; the Independent Schools Cup at Epsom in early December winning in 2013, the prestigious Roehampton Club Schools Invitation in March reaching the final three times in the last five seasons and the Schools Doubles Cup, winning the 1st pair competition in 2015.
Over the past few seasons there have been tours to South Africa (2008) and to the United States (2012 and 2014) playing top level school squash against some of the best teams in those countries.
Traditionally Charterhouse have two fixtures a season against Eton, Harrow and Winchester in addition to playing several other schools in Surrey, Berkshire, Sussex and Kent. Every year in February the School entertains the Jesters, an adult team who field a mixture of Old Carthusians, ex-Internationals and experienced club players for a 1st team fixture followed by a formal dinner – this is always one of the highlights of the season. There are also both Senior and Junior House competitions as well as individual knock-outs.
Charterhouse has an excellent six lane pool which doubles up as a first class waterpolo pool. There are fixtures throughout the year as well as inter-house fixtures for both on a regular basis. Training sessions are held on Monday through to Friday in the afternoons as well as Monday evening. Each year group has their own gala. Athletes have access to the pool and coaching every day from highly qualified coaches.
Our aim is to encourage boys and girls of all ability levels to develop as tennis players. This is done through regular coaching sessions during the summer term, as well as fixtures against other schools. We regularly have 19 teams out training: U14A - D, U15A - D, U16A - D, Senior Boys 1st - 4th VI and Senior Girls 1st - 3rd VI, with additional sides also playing in some of our regular block fixtures against the likes of Eton and Harrow. For those players wishing to play in the higher teams, we enter several national competitions including AEGON Team Tennis, the Independent Schools League and the ISTA Championships.
We are fortune to have 24 courts available during the summer months, with 12 Astro and 12 hard courts which are also floodlit. This enables all pupils the opportunity to play regularly throughout the week. The hard courts are also a permanent feature, so there are opportunities to practice with friends throughout the year.
On the teaching staff, we have a plethora of experience playing and coaching tennis to a high standard. Our Master-in-Charge, Mr Silvester, currently represents Buckinghamshire at senior county level, whilst playing AEGON Team Tennis for Westside LTC and in the FFT Championnat for US Bouguenais in France. He also represents Great Britain in Racketlon, competing regularly on the international stage. He has experience of coaching top level juniors for a number of years and oversees the running of the Charterhouse Tennis Programme. Mr Reynolds has organised regular overseas pre-season tours to France and Portugal and over the past few years has arranged courses at Charterhouse to qualify pupils as LTA coaches. The Charterhouse Tennis Programme in this area is the most comprehensive of any school in the country. Mr Reynolds is an LTA level two coach and has in the past represented both the Royal Navy and Combined Services.
The tennis playing pupil population has increased significantly over the last few years – we look forward to welcoming new players who arrive at Charterhouse as tennis continues to grow in popularity.
The excellent Charterhouse Club pool is a fantastic facility to use for the Waterpolo Club. There are regular fixtures against schools and also inter-house matches during the evenings.