The Hawks’ Club has been in existence since 1872 and represents the best sportsmen in the University of Cambridge. Membership is by election only, and the usual criterion is that the candidate should have his Blue – i.e. have taken part in the Varsity Match or Race against Oxford in his particular sport. The Club boasts around 5,000 Members worldwide, with around 150 members in residence at the beginning of the academic year, to as many as 250 by year-end.

 

The Clubhouse is at No 18 Portugal Place Cambridge, a pedestrian-only street opening off Bridge Street. It is on four floors comprising the basement Bar, ground floor Members’ Room, second-floor Dining Room, and top floor Meeting Room and Steward’s Flat. You can find contact details and a map here. Further information about the Clubhouse for reciprocal members can also be found here.

In 1996, members endowed the Hawks’ Charitable Trust to make awards to University sportsmen and women, who are of Blue standard or higher, to support their sporting development.

Many famous sporting names have been, or are, Members – Rob Andrew, Mike Atherton, Chris Brasher, Ted Dexter, Gavin Hastings, Tony Lewis, and George Nash to name just a few. Find out more about the hundreds of Internationals and Olympians from our membership here.

Club Governance

The Committee

The Club is governed by a President and Committee, elected by the Members in residence at the end of the year, to take up office the following year. The Committee's responsibilities include but are not limited to: the election of Members, events, access, sponsorship, alumni communications etc.

Trustees

There are three Trustees of the Club, all Hawks of long-standing, who are responsible for the finances of the Club, and represent its interests on other bodies. The current Trustees (as at 2020) are Anthony Hyde (Girton, CUAC, CUPLC, CUCC), Okeoghene Odudu (Sidney Sussex, CUAC), and Robert Harle (Downing, CUAC).

The London Dinner Committee

The LDC organises the Annual Dinner, which is held on the eve of the Varsity Rugby Match. From 1936 until 1992, when the new Clubhouse opened, this organisation provided a key contact to Hawks worldwide. The Dinner remains the most significant event of the year for most Hawks once they have gone down.

The Hawks Company Ltd

The company was formed to raise funds for, to manage the refurbishment of, and to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Clubhouse. The Company is owned wholly by Hawks.

The Trustees hold its two Ordinary Shares (‘golden’ shares) which grant them ultimate control. In addition, there are 3,200 odd £1 Redeemable Ordinary Shares linked to £500 Loan Notes. Some 72% of these are now owned by the Club including those held by other individuals who have waived their right to repayment. The Company has a liability in respect of the 757 Loan Notes held by other individuals but has no other borrowings and the property is worth considerably more than the balance.

The Club’s income is used to purchase additional shares, and thereby increase its proportion of the whole – the aim being to enable the Club to own the entire Company, and hence the premises.

Board of Directors

There are currently 4 Directors (meet them here). The Board meets 2-4 times per year. The Club President and one of the Trustees will normally attend.

The Board delegates responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Clubhouse and its commercial activities to a Management Committee, comprising representative Directors of the Company, a Club Trustee, the current Club President and Secretary, a representative of the Dining Rights Club, (DRC), the Clubhouse staff, and such other expertise as the Committee requires from time to time. It normally meets monthly.

The Hawks’ Charitable Trust

HCT was set up in 1996 on the back of a substantial bequest from David Jennens. It has since been a major source of sporting bursaries in Cambridge. In 2020, HCT had an endowment close to £1m and made Bursary Awards totally over £30k to applicants from over 40 sports and 31 Colleges.

The Dining Rights Club

Under the umbrella of the Clubhouse, there is the DRC. Membership is open to men and women in the Cambridge business and professional community. It provides a useful link to the professional life of Cambridge and has its own Committee, on which sits one of the Directors of the Company, and whose Chairman sits on the Board of the Company.

The Ospreys

The Ospreys is the sister Club of Hawks', and is a society by and for the University of Cambridge’s sportswomen aimed at raising the profile of women’s sport.

None of the officers of these various bodies (save for the Clubhouse staff) receives remuneration for the time that they offer to the Club.