The underpinning philosophy of Sport in the School is best summed up by Pope John Paul II, himself a useful goalkeeper in his youth:
The correct practice of sport must be accompanied by the virtues of temperance and sacrifice; frequently it also requires a good team spirit, respectful attitudes, the appreciation of the qualities of others, honesty in the game and humility to recognise one's own limitations. In short, sports, especially in less competitive forms, foster festive celebration and friendly coexistence. While playing sports Christians also find help in developing the cardinal virtues — fortitude, temperance, prudence and justice.
Thus, the point of sport at the Oratory is primarily to provide a healthy, balanced, joyful context in which good character can be developed, and where sport can become a life-long part of a pupil's life. As such, we provide an introduction to a range of sports, balancing out the needs of diversification with specialisation, and the needs of elite performance with those of wider participation. In terms of our specialist sports, in the Michaelmas Term, we focus on rugby, at which the School has a long and distinguished history. In the Lent Term we shift to Hockey and Water Polo, with some soccer. In the Trinity Term, pupils engage in Cricket and Athletics. Girls are fully integrated into our sports programme, and have full access to and usage of the gym. We are also very proud of the achievements of our Netball team!
Our highlights for the academic year 2018-19 are thus far as follows:
- In Rugby, our First XV Rugby side enjoyed a hugely successful rugby tour to Galway in Ireland, winning both of their games, and without conceding a point.
- In Water Polo, we compete regularly against major independent schools, not only holding our own but excelling; we are proud to number amongst our pupil body a pupil trialling for the national Water Polo team.
- This year saw the introduction of boxing training in our on-site gym - don't worry - this is entered upon purely as a fitness workout, and is non-contact, except for pad work with suitably qualified staff.
- With regular House festivals and competitions, we also had a thoroughly enjoyable Swimming Gala, held at Fulham pools for some 300 of our pupils!