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published photograph of two men crossing a finishing line, the winner, identified as C A Richmond stretching forward with spectators in the backgroundWinners of the half-mile race 1923Sport has always played an integral part of student life at King's, with matches and competitions with other colleges throughout London, the Home Counties and beyond.

The students' experience of London, its geography and communities, have been profoundly shaped by sport. During the nineteenth century, students were often left to amuse themselves.

Murray Hammick, a student in the early 1870s later recalled belonging to a paper chase club which met on the top of Hampstead Heath and Wimbledon Common: 'we ran over country where I suppose it would be now difficult to find any fields, country lanes or hedges'.

Sculling at Hammersmith or on the Lea was another favourite pastime for Hammick and his contemporaries, which often ended in dinner at the old Oxford Restaurant, 'where we consumed much tobacco and light French wine, talking a great deal at the same time'.

The first organised sporting competition took place in 1869 and became a regular fixture. King's leased a ground, first at Wormwood Scrubs and then at Mitcham, which was purchased as a memorial to the 1914-18 War.

The ground features a pavilion opened in 1931, cricket, rugby and football pitches. During the 1950s, its plunge pool was 'reputed the best in London'.

Photo of a lorry with the King's women's rowing team on back some in a scull, several holding oars in a parade with a crowd in the foreground and being followed by a marching bandWomens rowing team c1950Students beat a familiar path to the ground 'by taking a tube from Temple to Tooting Broadway and a 612 or 630 trolley bus to the 'Swan' Mitcham'. Cheap tickets from Temple to Tooting were available from the Students' Union.

During the early twentieth century, tennis and athletics were especially popular. Rowing at Hammersmith also introduced students to the Thames with the men's teams affiliated to the Thames Rowing Club boathouse at Putney and the women's at the University of London boathouse, Chiswick.

Football, rugby, cricket, fencing, rifle shooting, cross-country running, hockey and swimming were all popular with competitions between King's faculties and within the University of London. Sporting rivalry remains as intense as ever and the list of sports has grown to include such sports as taekwondo, windsurfing, basketball and karate.

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