The Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales (A.A.G.P.S) was the outcome of a meeting held at Gunsler’s Café, new Circular Quay, on 30 March 1892.
The Schools represented at the initial meeting were The King’s School, St Ignatius’ College, St Joseph’s College, All Saints College, Bathurst and the North Shore Grammar School (SCEGS).
On 12 April delegates from Sydney Grammar School, Newington College and Cooerwull Academy joined those who attended the first meeting.
At a third meeting held on 28 April 1892 membership of the AAGPS was clarified and St Patrick’s College Goulburn, St Stanislaus College Bathurst, and The Scots College joined those Schools who attended the earlier meetings.
Sydney Boy’s High School applied for membership in March 1894 but they were not admitted until 14 February, 1906.
The Armidale School entered the Association on 7 May 1897.
AAGPS of NSW became an incorporated association of New South Wales on 25 October 2017, to be hence known as Athletic Association of Great Public Schools of New South Wales Incorporated, or AAGPS of NSW Inc.
The official Athletics competition commenced in 1892. In 1912 the competition was divided into two levels – Senior and Junior.
In 2012 a third level was added, that being Intermediate, which incorporated the Under 15 and Under 16 age divisions; the Seniors now comprised the Open and Under 17 age groups; and the Juniors, the Under 14 and Under 13s.
The Senior Championship Shield for Athletics was first awarded in 1895. In 1908 a new Senior Shield replaced the previous one which was full, having been first presented in 1873 when a race for All Schools was first held at each School carnival. The new Shield was backdated to 1895.
The Intermediate trophy was named The J M McCann Trophy. Jim McCann attended St Joseph’s College, leaving in 1957. His record in the Open Long Jump (7.42m in 1957) stands as the oldest record in the program.
The Junior Athletic Trophy is, curiously, named The Ladies Challenge Plate, even though it is a rather fine cup. It was first awarded in 1912.
First Convenor: GP Barbour SGS (1895)
Official competition commenced in 1975 after a number of years of non-competition matches between schools.
First Teams compete for The Denys Hake Shield which was first awarded in 1975, and was presented by The King’s School Council in honour of the wife of a former Headmaster of King’s.
Second Teams compete for The TE Bawden Shield which was first awarded in 1975. It was also presented by The King’s School and named after the first GPS Convenor of Basketball, and later GPS Treasurer, Tom Bawden.
The AAGPS and CAS First Teams compete annually for The PJ Yeend Trophy, presented by Basketball NSW.
The AAGPS and ISA First Teams compete annually for the McKay Cup.
Official competition commenced in 1893. As early as 1897 the competition encompassed both First and Second Grade.
The First XI Shield was first awarded in 1893. It is named The AAGPS Challenge Shield for Cricket. It was decided by the Committee in 2014 that the words The AT Lantry Challenge Shield be added to the shield in memory of the long serving AAGPS Convenor of Cricket and subsequent Chairman, Mr Tony Lantry from St Joseph’s College.
The 2nd XI Shield was first awarded in 1915. The Shield is titled simply The A.A.G.P.S Cricket Second Grade Shield.
First Convenor: G P Barbour SGS (1893).
Official competition commenced in 1988.
Open Teams compete for The NA Emery Trophy which was first awarded in 1988 and named after the long serving Sportsmaster of Shore, Neville Emery. Mr Emery also served as Secretary and later as Chairman of the AAGPS.
First Convenor: TP Devin Shore (1988).
Official competition commenced in 1988. The name was officially changed from “Soccer” to “Football” in 2006.
The First teams compete for The Wanderers’ Cup for AAGPS Soccer. Presented by The King’s School in 1988, the trophy marks the first game of Soccer in Australia between The King’s School and The Gentlemen Wanderers played in Parramatta on 14 August 1880.
Second Teams compete for the GPS 2nd Soccer Premiership Shield. This shield was first awarded in 1988.
First Convenor: GT Williams SCEGS (1988).
Official competition commenced in 1905 but results of the National Rifle Association competition are recorded from 1893. The AAGPS decided in 1903 to formally admit Rifle Shooting as one of its sports.
The First team Premiership is decided on the results of three individual matches, namely –
1. The National Rifle Association Shield (NRA Shield) purchased by the AAGPS in 1905. The NRA competition had been held annually for many years prior to 1905.
2. The Rawson Cup, presented in 1905 by Sir Harry Rawson, Governor of New South Wales and a patron of the AAGPS. In 1910 it became a perpetual trophy.
3. The Buchanan Shield which, from 1905 to 1912, was known as the GPS Challenge Shield but in 1913 was renamed to honour CA Buchanan, the first Convenor of Rifle Shooting.
The First Team Premiership is decided from the placings in each of these three matches and the Premier school is awarded the Premiership Shield.
The Second Team trophy, first awarded in 1917, is known as The GPSAAA Rifle Shooting Second Grade Premiership Shield.
First Convenor: CA Buchanan NC (1904).
Official competition commenced in 1893 with four oared crews. Eights were introduced in 1910.
Trophies are awarded at each Head of the River Regatta .
1st VIII – 1910 onwards – *The Major Rennie Trophy presented by Major Z.C. Rennie in 1894. Major Rennie was a rowing enthusiast who had migrated to Australia from the USA.
2nd VIII – 1968 onwards – The LC Robson Trophy. L C Robson was Shore’s Headmaster from 1923 until 1958.
1st IV – 1893 onwards – *The Yaralla Cup presented by Miss Edith Walker in 1906. (*1906 – 1911 inclusive, the Yaralla Cup was awarded for the Second Four race. In 1912 the Yaralla Cup became the First Four trophy).
2nd IV- 1918 onwards – The Alan Callaway Trophy, first awarded 1979. Alan Callaway was a prominent SBHS Rowing Coach.
3rd IV – 1920 onwards – The Father Gartlan Trophy first awarded 1983. Father Gartlan was the founder of the SIC Rowing Club in 1882.
4th IV – 1927 onwards – The Penrith City Council Trophy, first awarded 1986. Awarded to mark 50 years of AAGPS rowing on the Nepean.
*(Note: Until 1910, the Major Rennie Trophy, donated in 1894, was awarded for the First Four race, there being no First Eight race until 1910. Similarly from 1906 to 1911 inclusive, the Yaralla Cup was awarded for the Second Four race. In 1912 the Yaralla Cup became the First Four trophy).
First Convenor: R H Bode SGS (1893)
Official competition commenced in 1892. At the time the game was known as Football, a title it held until 2006 to avoid confusion with Association Football (“soccer”). Since then the title of Rugby has been used.
The First Grade Trophy, first presented in 1896 by the President of the NSW Rugby Football Union, is engraved with the words “School Challenge Trophy”. This Shield replaced another won by The King’s School for 4 consecutive years (1892-5).
The Second Grade trophy, The W.S. Corr Cup, was first presented in 1913. It was named after the first Convenor, W.S. Corr, who took over the task in 1896.
The new Third Grade Trophy, the ‘Col Windon Shield’, was presented in 2018 by the SGS Fathers’ Association to commemorate the resurrection of the 3rd XV competition which ran from 1909 – 1961; and then re-commenced in 2012. Col Windon is an Old Sydneian who went on to play and captain the Wallabies.
First Convenor: WS Corr (1896).
Unofficial competition commenced in 1987 among all nine schools but competitions between the schools via a GPS Relay at each School’s Swimming Carnival started in 1922.
Between 1903 and 1921 All Schools races were held over various distances at each School’s Swimming Carnival.
Official competition commenced in 2002 with a cumulative point score system being used over a number of combined Meets.
Trophies are presented at the final Meet of the season to each of the winners in the Seniors, Intermediate and Juniors divisions.
First Convenor: B J Roydhouse SJC (2000).
Official competition commenced in 1972 after many years of informal matches between schools in the Association.
First Teams compete over summer for The NSW LTA First Grade AAGPS Shield, first awarded in 1972.
Second Teams compete for The NSW LTA Second Grade AAGPS Shield, also first awarded in 1972.
The AAGPS and CAS First Teams compete annually for The John Brown Trophy, named after the long serving AAGPS Tennis Convenor.
First Convenor: P Riley SGS (1972).
Official competition commenced in 2015 (1st Grade) after many years of informal matches played between schools (from 2003) in the Association. The official trophy for 1st Grade Premiership winner is the Michael Kay Shield.
The official competition for 2nd Grade will commence in 2019. Official trophy to be confirmed.
First Convenor: M Kay SBHS (2005).
Official competition commenced in 2015 after many years of informal matches between schools (from 1988) in the Association.
Official trophies for 1st and 2nd grade yet to be named and awarded.
First Convenor: G Dedrick TSC (2005).
“Games to Play Out …”, The Formation and Development of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools 1892-2017, by Robert AI Grant AM 2017.
“Unity in Diversity” A Historical Commentary on The Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales by J Carington Pope 1961.
“Unity and Diversity” A Historical of The Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales since the Second World War by Geoffrey Sherington 1996.