A special celebration event for alumni has been held to mark 100 years of rugby at Loughborough Grammar School.
Taking players back to where it all began 100 years ago, the celebrations took place pitch-side on 16 September at Quorn Playing Fields whilst watching Loughborough Grammar 1st XV team take on Trent College.
Ahead of the match, a drinks reception and a three-course lunch at Loughborough Grammar School helped get alumni into the swing of celebrating and with former pupils from the Classes of 1951-2017 joining, there was a wealth of rugby history being shared and memories being relived.
Helen Foster, Headmaster at Loughborough Grammar School said: “We were delighted to welcome back alumni for this special occasion, which included past players and rugby captains, as well as former coaches such as Ced Davies, who was our rugby coach from 1971-2009! It was also an opportunity to remember those who made great strides for rugby at the school who have sadly passed away.
It’s wonderful to recognise how far we have come in what we can offer our boys when it comes to rugby; we have some truly exceptional players on the pitch today.”
The school held its first ever rugby game in 1922 and according to reports written in The Loughburian, the Grammar School magazine, ‘great enthusiasm’ was shown, but the rules of the game were a challenge to those who had not played or seen a match before.
Fast forward 26 years and the school’s very first rugby team was formed, however unfortunately it lost its opening match 3-17. In the years since, Loughborough Grammar School Rugby has forged huge successes and today the 1st XV team goes on a major international tour every two years, with South Africa, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Japan being recent destinations.
Younger Grammar School rugby players get the opportunity to develop their experience closer to home with year 7s taking part in a rugby tour to Blackpool and year 9s visiting Belfast, Edinburgh, and South Wales to play matches.
Additionally, the rugby club currently benefits from a formal relationship with Loughborough University, where year 10 rugby players get the opportunity to be coached by the University’s rugby coaches as well as staff with expertise in strength and conditioning.
Emyr Lewis, Head of Rugby at Loughborough Schools Foundation said: “We are so proud to be celebrating 100 years of rugby here at Loughborough Grammar. The school has witnessed generations of rugby talent pass through its doors, and I genuinely believe that our rugby offering continues to go from strength to strength.
With the recent launch of our new Players Pathway Programme funded by Exigent Group, we have been able to take even the most exceptional rugby players to the next level. With increased funding we can move the sport forward even more and become a leading school in the midlands for rugby.”