From the moment a boy joins Winchester College, they are able to get involved in house competitions. One boy remarked that this was the main reason he was so competitive, ‘In my second week, I was part of a house football competition, and just days after that the first-year inter-house cross-country race. For me, those events instilled a desire to give everything I had each time I represented my house. I have taken that spirit with me throughout my time here.’
For many at Winchester, house competitions offer a unique opportunity for competition at all levels. Whether it’s in golf or water polo, every result is greeted with rapturous applause during announcements in-house. Nowhere else in the school will you see such a high level of commitment than on the football field during the senior house match (known as Chawker Pot) or at the inter-house swimming competition. But why is house sport so enthralling for all those involved, as well as those spectating?
‘Chawker Pot is in the walls of Beloes’ - this quote from a team huddle before a house football game really sums up the view among boys at Winchester. Groups of boys are bound together by an inexplicable force, known as ‘house spirit’. From what I hear from friends at other schools, it isn’t quite the same anywhere else.
‘It’s something about Winchester I think. It’s so easy to get into the sport, and everybody in the house really feels like one big family whilst competing,’ said one boy. This view is widely held around the school, with pupils and teachers alike getting involved either in an officiating capacity or chanting from the sidelines.
You might think that the sheer volume of house competitions during the school year would dilute interest, but I have found this to be far from the truth. Last year, the entire house erupted after an announcement about water polo. What’s more, at every event, you’ll find a house tutor or Housemaster offering support to the boys involved. Above all, the commitment in these competitions really fosters a clear sense of house unity wherever you go around the school.
31st May 2020
The inaugural PixPot was launched in April, alongside a photography competition open to the whole school community. The Winchester College Photography Society, which is run entirely by pupils at the school, oversaw the competition: securing the involvement of professional judges, drawing up a shortlist, and organising prizes.
18th May 2020
The traditional programme of inter-school sporting fixtures has been a feature of life at Winchester for more than 150 years. With no opportunity during lockdown to face familiar opponents, Mark Burley, Director of Sport provides an insight into the history of sport in public schools, as well as the role that Winchester has played in making it such a prominent part of school life.
18th May 2020
Winchester College has a long reputation for community service. No person is more responsible for this than the remarkable Mrs Clare Talks, Geography don and Director of Community Service. Here she provides a refreshing insight into the environmental impacts of an unseasonably warm Spring and a tranquil, undisturbed lockdown.
16th May 2020
According to his Div don, "more people have climbed Everest" and the final stages of an endurance event, such as this, will be the toughest, but sixth form pupil Freddie remains unfazed and focused on raising money for a charity close to his heart.
15th May 2020
Nat tells us about the perils - and lure - of going out in the sun in London during lockdown.
9th May 2020
James is running to get out of the house, and taking his dog with him.