Achilles Club

The Achilles Club

The Achilles Club traces its roots back to the first Oxford v Cambridge Athletic Sports (‘Varsity Match) of 1864, an event it continues to help stage each year.

The Club rose to the forefront of British and world athletics, and members have won 18 Olympic Gold Medals, 17 Silver and 15 Bronze, and held 38 World Records.

Members continue to achieve the highest international success, and to hold administrative posts of great influence within the sport.

Why should you join Achilles?

OUAC and CUAC members who have competed for their University in the annual Varsity Match are invited to join the Achilles Club.

The Achilles Club is exclusively for past and present CUAC and OUAC members. Invitation to membership is an honour, and recognition of your contribution to inter-Varsity athletics. Student members enjoy particular benefits, but above all membership is for life. Achilles enables alumni to stay in contact with their friends and former rivals, and with current athletics at the Universities.

The Achilles Club today is much more than a conventional athletics club, and it underpins many of the key activities of OUAC and CUAC

What does Achilles really do?

1.         Provides huge amounts of financial support

All Achilles membership fees are ploughed back to members, especially it’s current student members, through for example:

·      Subsidising CUAC and OUAC coaching costs

·      Subsidising warm weather training

·      Hosting the US Transatlantic Series

·      Subsidising the Varsity Match and other matches

·      Supporting individual outstanding athletes

·      Providing a free vest on joining

·      Paying England Athletics Registration Fees for First Claim members

·      Printing and distributing an annual newsletter, an attractive glossy magazine

2.         Provides practical support

Achilles provides continuity for all the annual inter-Varsity fixtures, assisting the committees of OUAC and CUAC by

·      Helping to organise the Varsity Match, the Varsity Field Events and Relays Match (VFEAR), and Fresher’s Match

·      Organising other fixtures throughout the year including the LICC series, Kinnaird & Sward and Loughborough matches

·      Assisting with England Athletics compliance

3.         International competition opportunities

Achilles organises and selects a team to represent Oxford & Cambridge in one of the regular matches, home and away, against the US pairings Harvard & Yale and Penn & Cornell each year, with this being one of the highest accolades that OUAC and CUAC athletes can aspire to. The pinnacle of this series is a heavily subsidised tour to the USA every four years.

They also have a longstanding tradition of regularly organising other overseas tours, and countries visited have included Australia, Japan, China, Singapore, South Africa, Estonia, Russia, Austria, Italy, Greece, Norway, France and Finland.

4.         Social benefits

The Club takes it socialising as seriously as its athletics and holds

·      An annual dinner after the Varsity Match

·      A dinner and usually a barbecue in the years when US or other overseas teams visit

·      An annual dinner in New York

·      Occasional Balls and other social events

The annual newsletter provides a forum for organising reunions and other gatherings, and for reflecting on the achievements of members who have passed away.

The Achilles network provides real opportunities for forging mentoring connections.

5.         Heritage

As an Achilles Club member you will be linked with some of the greatest names in sport, including Sir Roger Bannister, Harold Abrahams, David Hemery, Steph Cook and very many more, as listed on the Honours Boards in the pavilions at Iffley Road and Wilberforce Road. And you will find a surprising array of other past and present club mates who have gained fame in other walks of life, including the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the author Jeffrey Archer, the codebreaker Alan Turing and the Nobel laureate Philip Noel-Baker.

To share with such great achievers our common heritage and passion for the sport is one of the many pleasures and privileges of belonging to the Achilles Club.

So basically there are no reasons for you not to join!


All of this is provided for the menial sum of just £10! Fill out the form below and help us continue progressing as one of the top athletic clubs in the UK.

Achilles Joining Form


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