The Acheson-Gray sports day has been a long-standing tradition within St Catharine’s College for many years. From the Second World War onwards, a focus of the Catz sporting calendar was a cricket match in the Summer Term between alumni and current College students.
During the early 1990s, Charles Acheson-Gray (1991, Social & Political Sciences) was an avid sportsman at Catz. He was Captain of the College lawn tennis team and played for the University team. Following his graduation, Charles continued his enthusiasm for tennis and encouraged an equivalent tennis match to be included alongside the cricket match. This brought about the idea of expanding the annual event to a recognisable sports day.
However, the purpose of the event is now more poignant for the College and goes beyond sporting achievements. After struggling with depression, Charles very sadly passed away in 2001. This annual sports day is now named the Acheson-Gray Day and held as a tribute to his memory, providing an opportunity for our community to remember the importance of talking openly about the subject of mental health.
In 2004, the President of the Society’s London Branch, John Oakes (1961, English), encouraged the Acheson-Gray Day to host additional sports matches, including hockey, following the completion of the all-weather pitch that had been kindly donated by Peter Boizot (1950, History). Rugby was added in 2005. This year many College sports will be represented including: cricket, football, hockey, tennis, rugby, and netball.
The next Acheson-Gray Day will take place on Saturday 2 May 2020, to mark the start of the Summer term. Matches between students and alumni will take place during the day and all those participating are warmly invited to dine in College after the conclusion of the matches.
We hope alumni and students will want to participate and come along to support the teams at this year’s Acheson-Gray Day. For further information about this event or how to take part please visit the event webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org.