Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 8. May 31, 1939
Sport at Oxford — Far From Decadent
Sport at Oxford
Far From Decadent
(This article was written for "Salient" by a former Rhodes Scholar now residing; in Wellington.)
There are 26 men's colleges at Oxford and each of them has its own sports grounds. My own college, St. John's, had ten grass tennis courts and four hard courts, as well as a hockey ground, a Rugby ground, and a soccer ground. Besides the college grounds, the University Sports Clubs, have their own grounds, and there are also squash and badminton courts, golf courses, lacrosse grounds, and a large Ice rink. Almost every known sport is the subject of contest between the colleges, and between Oxford and Cambridge. As well as the more obvious sports, there are point-to-point races, motor car rallies, polo, and alpine-climbing contests.
Sport at Oxford is the very reverse of "decadent," because almost everyone plays some game three or four afternoons a week, and there are few spectators. All undergraduates are full-time students.
The Inter-College matches in Rugby, hockey, tennis, etc., arranged for two or three afternoons each week, are the main sporting events, and these are for no trophy or competition but purely for the game's sake. There are always a number of "away" matches arranged between each college team and such institutions as Sandhurst, the Hospitals. Eton and other public schools. In addition to all this, the comparatively few in line for University representative teams are members of University clubs in addition to the College clubs.
The Inter-University contests and other gladiatorial sporting efforts are a quantitatively insignificant part of the sporting activity of the undergraduate. Since the Oxford vacations amount in all to six months of the year, many itinerant tours are arranged, and also most undergraduates associate themselves with local clubs in their own districts, composed of leisured people almost entirely.
It will be seen from the above that Oxford life for a sportsman approaches the Paradisaical.