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The 3G: Sport at Hampton

By Tom Scrimshaw

The start of the 2022-2023 school year at Hampton brought many highlights and achievements, whether it be sporting or academic. However, probably one of the most celebrated moments was the completion of the new 3G sports ground on the school site. The old 3G had provided an excellent playing surface for Hampton boys during its many years in use, so last summer offered the perfect length of time for it to be restored.

The 3G provides a great place for all Hamptonians to play a wide range of different sports, and is enjoyed by everyone, including through the opportunity to go on it at break and lunchtime. However, the 3G is only a relatively recent addition to the Hampton facilities. I interviewed Mr T Green (OH 1995), a member of the English department and football coach for the U13 A team, reflecting upon his memories of the 3G and sport more generally at Hampton.

Before the 3G was initially built on the right hand side of the school, the space was used to accommodate the 1st XI football pitch at the end nearest Hanworth Road. The 1st XI would regularly play games on this pitch, which was kept in pristine condition, just like the current first team pitch located around the back of the school. Mr Green fondly remembers the 1st XI football pitch, describing it as being a “pristine, beautiful pitch”and remembers that “The old football coach, Mr McLean, used to come and shout at anyone who stood on it! No-one was allowed on the 1st XI football pitch until they were in the 1st team”. 

During the summer term, the area was mostly used for cricket, with the end nearest the playing fields being the U12 cricket square. As a budding cricketer in his school days, Mr Green tells me that the cricket square was: “Great, because when I was younger and played cricket, it was a really enjoyable experience and lots of great memories were made from playing on it”.

When asked for his thoughts on the new 3G, Mr Green described it as being “awesome” and illustrated his jealousy for “the extremely lucky boys who have the opportunity to use such a brilliant facility on a day-to-day basis”.  Although the 3G has already provided a great space for boys to play football so far this year, Mr Green tells me that “Mr Hurst has declared that the 3G’s surface is still a bit slow, and needs to speed up a little bit,” as it is further enjoyed by a large number of Hamptonians. Whilst the 3G is one of Hampton’s most valued facilities, the sports fields never disappoint, hosting football, rugby, cricket, athletics and lots more sports, all of which are passionately contested throughout the academic year.

Upon being asked whether he preferred the sports field or 3G, Mr Green proclaimed “As a cricketer, nothing beats the sports fields! Having all the cricket squares there is absolutely magnificent.” However, “As someone who played a lot of muddy football in my youth, having a place like the 3G where you can run around playing sport without getting muddy is brilliant!” 

The 3G provides a great playing surface for boys to use in all different weather conditions, which Mr Green describes as being “A great option, because when I was at the school and it rained, you weren’t allowed on the school fields so essentially there were long periods of time where you wanted to play football, but you couldn’t because the pitches would become waterlogged”.

The 3G has become a greatly valued facility by pupils and staff alike and is often one of the most enjoyable aspects to lunchtime and wider sport at Hampton. Upon being asked what the 3G means to him, Mr Green tells me: “As a teacher, when you go out and see all the boys at lunchtime playing on the 3G, it’s brilliant because we spend a lot of time of time with you in classrooms so it is great to see everyone enjoying themselves together outside”.

Speaking about the vibrant energy of the Hampton boys, he added: “I think it’s on the 3G that we really see this, with year groups and classes having a wonderful time together and I think seeing how much enjoyment the boys get out of the 3G is excellent”.

With Hampton boys already embracing the popular revamped sportsground, the new Astro tennis courts at the end of the 3G have also failed to disappoint. With tennis being a popular summer term choice of sport among Hamptonians, the new courts offer more space for boys to play during their games afternoons, lunchtimes and training sessions. Adding to the 6 other all-weather tennis courts on site, the new Astro courts will undoubtedly play host to a high standard of tennis in the years to come.

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