The Royal Belfast Academical Institution




Hockey at RBAI is associated with a long-standing tradition of success throughout Ulster and Ireland. Ever since the first game was played in the school in 1907, the Hockey Club has gone on to become one of the most successful in the country. The 1st XI has won the Burney Cup (Ulster School’s Cup) 16 times and the McCullough Cup 16 times; a record within Ulster Hockey. Since the All-Ireland Schoolboys Championship began in 1982, RBAI have won the tournament 7 times and appeared in 12 finals, again a school's record. The school has also had a history of success at U13, U14, U15 and 2nd XI levels, having won the respective cup competitions on numerous occasions.

RBAI has been well represented in Ulster and Ireland underage teams with a total of sixteen former pupils having gone on to represent Ireland and/or Great Britain at Senior International level. In 1972 Terry Gregg became the first former pupil to play Hockey at the Olympic Games when he represented Great Britain in Munich. This feat has since been repeated by four more players when Mark Gleghorne (Great Britain), Paul Gleghorne (Ireland), Michael Watt (Ireland) and John Jackson (Ireland) all played in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The RBAI Hockey Club plays matches and holds practices on the state-of-the-art water-based hockey pitch at Shaw’s Bridge. The pitch is used by RBAI teams on a daily basis and the school offers a strong consistent fixture list on Saturday mornings. The Hockey Club strives to expose pupils to the highest level of coaching expertise alongside an ethos of fun and enjoyment. Each year group receives coaching from fully qualified teachers within the school, high calibre external coaches and past pupils of the school who return to offer their knowledge to the next generation.

Even though to date there has been limited Hockey during the 2020/21 season, the Hockey Club is committed to ensure that we keep improving the boys’ skills and physical well-being during lockdown. Each week new skills are videoed and uploaded for the boys to practice and improve at home. This is alongside online home workouts and fitness sessions to help keep students physically active and fit. We currently do not know when sport will return to normal and will follow the guidelines set by Ulster Hockey. In the meantime we encourage pupils to continue their extra-curricular development and very much look forward to when we are all back on the pitch.


Hockey Club Lead Coach: Mr M. Gleghorne

Master-in-Charge of Admin: Mr. J. Macafee

1st XI coaches: Mr. M. Gleghorne and Mr G. Francey

2nd XI coach: Mr. J. Macafee

Under 15 XI coach: Mr. B. Smith

Under 14 XI coach: Mr. C. Harkness

Under 13 XI coach: Mr. G. Russell

Under 12 XI coach (Year 8): Mr. J. English

Mr B. Waring assists in the coaching of all 3 top teams.

RBAI pupils who have progressed to play for Senior International hockey:

  1. A.D.Rose (Year of debut: 1957)
  2. T.Gregg (1970: 103 caps - Munich Olympics 1972 with Great Britain)
  3. D.S. Shields (1976)
  4. P.Cooke (1984: 91 caps)
  5. J.Atkins (1988)
  6. N.Cooke (1990)
  7. P.Hollway (1990: 80 caps)
  8. M.Irwin (1996: 130 caps)
  9. P.Brown (1998: 151 caps - captained the Irish team on 92 occasions.)
  10. M.Gleghorne (2004: 244 caps – Rio Olympics 2016 with Great Britain)
  11. D.Robb (2005)
  12. S.Redpath (2005)
  13. J.Jackson (2006: 264 caps – Rio Olympics 2016 with Ireland)
  14. M.Watt (2006: 201 caps – Rio Olympics 2016 with Ireland)
  15. P.Gleghorne (2009: 238 caps – Rio Olympics 2016 with Ireland)
  16. J. Lorimer (2013: 11 caps)



19 2022
Scouts D of E Gold
24 2022
25 2022
GCSE results to pupils
26 2022
New Year 8 induction
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
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