Pupils' passion puts Fives back in favour

This term, Sixth Formers at UCS have made a concerted effort to revive the time-honoured game of Fives here at UCS. Year 12 student Alexandros takes up the story…

Rugby Fives is a handball game, often explained as ‘squash but played with gloved hands’. Originating several centuries ago, it was formalised at Rugby School in the 19th century.

What I believe makes Rugby Fives special is its community. I can explain this through my own experience. I started Fives at the beginning of the year by picking it as a Games option – and instantly connected with the sport. Chris, a volunteer coach at UCS and secretary general of the Rugby Fives Association, saw my enthusiasm and invited me to evening practice sessions involving people of all ages. There was even an 80-year-old former UCS pupil who played fives as a schoolboy and still does today!

Fives participation at UCS had been low until Chris came in as coach last year. Since then, Fives has steadily regained its popularity and we organised a Sixth Form House Fives tournament this term, featuring more than 100 students, both boys and girls. After three months of competition, the tournament culminated in last week’s grand final between Flooks and Evans houses, which the Flooks team of Samir and Liam won. A big thank you to all of the contestants.

In the interest of fostering young talent, coach Chris puts on a Year 7 Fives class one afternoon a week and hopefully next term I will run a Year 8 and Year 9 class. I also hope to organise a mixed-doubles Sixth Form Fives tournament in the near future.

Thanks to being introduced to the sport at UCS, I have entered tournaments and played matches against other schools at the weekend – a great experience even in defeat! I have met wonderful people and now want to provide similar opportunities for others.

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