King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
Faster & fairer - science & sport at King's College London


Sport at Mitcham, 1929Sport at Mitcham, 1929Athletics and track and field competition have long provided an outlet for the fierce competitive instincts of students.

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, events usually included sprinting over 100 and 150 yards, hurdles, relay races, the long jump and marathon. Notable athletes included the marathon runner Leslie Housden who took part in the Antwerp Olympics in 1920.

Key competitions have included the United Hospitals Athletic Shield between rival teams from London hospitals, which has been contested since the United Hospitals Athletic Club was founded in 1867.

Guy's athletics team, 1967Guy's athletics team, 1967King's College, Guy's Hospital and the other colleges to have merged with King's in recent years all organised annual sports.

In time these came to be seen more as a chance to raise funds for charity, featuring more informal events such as tug-of-war competitions.

The annual King's sports at its ground at Mitcham, which opened in 1921, were an opportunity to indulge the traditional rivalry with University College, and in 1929 witnessed a rag in which teams hurled rotten fruit and vegetables at each other accompanied, as one report described, by 'weird noises produced by a jazz band of King's College girls'.

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