St Paul’s has a long history of involvement in athletics and has been a regular participant in meetings against traditional rivals. Recently, athletics at St Paul’s has been flourishing, with more and more pupils opting for it.
We have a dedicated team of athletics coaches with expertise in all of the major disciplines, including sprinting, hurdling, middle-distance running, shot putt, javelin, discus, high jump, long jump and triple jump. From the national medalist to the pupil hoping to improve his overall fitness, there is a place for every athlete.
While individual competition is the very essence of athletics, there are also real opportunities for athletes to learn team skills through involvement in the squad, including pre-season training camps to Portugal, age group competitions and relay races. During the summer term, we compete in many events: for example, the Lord Burghley trophy, the Guy Butler Shield and the prestigious Achilles Relays.
Our best athletes have the opportunity to compete at Borough, County, National and even International level. Currently, we have a National and GB in the squad: Our Captain, Philip Kastner, Upper Eighth Form, was selected to be the U20 representative for the England team at the Home Countries International and has aspirations of making the Great Britain team for the World Junior Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Achilles Relays
The relay teams from St Paul’s Athletics Club compete against schools from all over the country in the prestigious Achilles Relays Schools’ Relays which were first run in 1963 on the initiative of the Rt Hon Philip Noel-Baker, the President of the Achilles Club. The first meeting was held at the Roger Bannister Stadium at Iffley Road and it is still run there today. Last year our Seniors team won the 4x400m Jack Lovelock Trophy, our Inters won the 4x400m Christopher Brasher Trophy and our Juniors won Silver in the 4x800m final.
The Guy Butler Shield
The Guy Butler Shield is without a doubt one of the most competitive athletics meetings on the public school circuit and is right up there with the Lord Burghley Trophy with regards standard and efficiency in the way that it is run. It was originally called the Chomley Shield and run by Highgate School but by the summer of 2012, Highgate felt they needed to compete as a coed school and asked Harrow School to take over the planning and running, not just the hosting, but with a name change of their choice, hence the name change to the Guy Butler Shield.
Guy Butler was a former pupil of Harrow School and a former Olympic Gold medalist in the 4x400m relay in the 1920 Olympics.
The Lord Burghley Trophy
The St Paul’s Athletics Club annually compete for the Lord Burghley Trophy, named after David Burghley who won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the 1928 Summer Olympics. This competition has been held annually at Eton College since 2001. The Lord Burghley Trophy itself began life as a champagne bucket that originated from the Grand Hotel in Brighton after the 1984 bombing of the Conservative Party Conference and recalls the scene in ‘Chariots of Fire’ when Lord Lindsay trained by placing a flute of champagne on each of the hurdles as an incentive not to knock the hurdles over. We last won the trophy in 2015, having come runners up to Eton College for the last four years.