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The RSSH is one of the five major sports at Shrewsbury School and has the distinction of being the oldest cross-country club in the world. Written records date from 1831, but the origins of organised cross-country running at the School can be traced back to 1819.
The Club was established after Headmaster Dr Butler rejected a request from boys to form a mounted fox-hunting club. An alternative club was formed, with boys running across the Shropshire countryside instead of horses and hounds, but still based on the sport of hunting and using much of its terminology. Many of the old traditions remain today: the Captain of cross-country known as the Huntsman, his two deputies being the Senior and Junior Whips, and the younger runners being known as the Hounds. The first person to cross the finish line in a race is said to have ‘killed’, and at the start of the school races – including the annual whole-school ‘Tucks’ run and the Inter-House Steeplechases and Paperchases – the Huntsman goes to the front of the pack and is heard to yell the encouraging command, “All hounds who wish to run, run hard, run well, and may the devil take the hindmost”.
The club not only prides itself on its history and traditions, but also on its successes and prominence on the National cross-country scene. Notable recent Old Salopians include Oli Laws (competing for GB at cross-country) and Oli Mott (British Universities), and the present generation of Hunt runners have themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, in recent years the club has swelled in numbers, with around 70 boys and girls regularly training and competing with the Hunt each season.
We encourage runners of all abilities, priding ourselves on being a wholly welcoming and non-elitist club to which pupils of all abilities and ages can feel proud to belong.