Rackets (or racquets) is one of the fastest, most exhilarating and most challenging sports. It is played in the UK, US and Canada on an indoor court with solid walls about three times the size of a squash court, with a hard ball. It requires exceptional hand–eye coordination and footwork. The skills are transferable to several other ball sports such as tennis, squash, hockey and cricket.
Rackets has a distinguished history at Marlborough having been played at the College for nearly 140 years. Marlborough won the Public Schools’ Doubles Championship for the first time in 1901.
Pupils benefit from the coaching of long serving Rackets Professional Rob Wakely. A former Queen’s champion as a boy, Rob has coached no fewer than four world champions including the Old Marlburian pair of Guy Barker (B3 1988-93) and Ali Robinson (PR 1983-88), who are the only Public Schools winning pair in history to go on and win major championships together including the World Championship.
Master in Charge, Rackets
The rackets complex houses two courts, the playing surfaces of which are recognised as being among the best in the country. Facilities also include changing rooms, a reception area and a viewing gallery. Many who play practise in their free time and fit their rackets into a busy schedule of other sporting and co-curricular commitments.
Fixtures at all levels are played in both the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. The College plays on a broad circuit against opponents that include Eton, Harrow, Cheltenham, Clifton, Radley, Wellington, St Paul’s, Haileybury, Malvern, Winchester and Charterhouse.
Marlborough competes at the Public Schools’ Championships at the Queen’s Club. The Boys’ Singles and Girls’ Doubles take place in December and the Boys’ Doubles and Girls’ Singles in March.
The College hosts a weekly evening club open to members of the local community. Alex Renwick, a pupil at St John’s School in Marlborough, became the first Queen’s champion from the wider Marlborough community when he won the Renny Cup in December 2019.