About The Trust

The Hawks’ Charitable Trust
Providing funds for sporting excellence


david-jennensThe Trust was established in January 1996 with a relatively small endowment capital donated by some of the Members to provide grants to current Cambridge University students, male and female, whose sporting activities were being inhibited by financial constraints. A very generous bequest from David Jennens (Clare College 1947-51, Rowing) increased dramatically the size of the endowment capital in 2003, and the fund now has investments in excess of £850,000 which are managed by Sarasin & Partners, enabling a disbursement in 2018 of £30,000 (capital being conserved for the growth of the fund): see below. The Trust is by far the single largest charity devoted to funding sport in the University.

There are currently (2018) five Trustees – they are the Chairman Matthew Bullock (Master, St Edmund’s College), Anthony Hyde (Girton, Cricket, Athletics, Powerlifting), Tim Ellis (Jesus, Rifle Shooting), Andrew Muston (Peterhouse, Boat Club), and Pat Marsh (Magdalene, Rowing). Dr Bill Nolan (Senior Tutor, Robinson College) is an assessor of applications.  Since the inception of the Trust, information has been exchanged with the managers of the Eric Evans Fund, which is the only (and quite small) fund run by the University itself.


The Trustees’ policy currently is to provide a larger number of modest awards rather than a very limited number of larger sums. Applications have to be endorsed by a University Senior Member to confirm financial need; grants are normally only awarded in sports of Blue or Half-blue status, taking into account if need is equal, the level of sporting excellence and the academic level.

Scale of Awards

In 2018, 227 (2017: 245) applications were received, from which 145 (2017:149) Awards were made, with a total disbursement of £30,000 (2017:£28,000). Some 45% of the Awards went to women, who were 41% of the applicants. 

The Awards covered 31 (2017:30) Colleges and  40 different sports. 57% (2017:65%) of the Award winners were undergraduates.  95% of the undergraduates have achieved 2.1 or better in the exams they have taken so far.

The Awards are in the range £1,000 to £100.  The top six Awards  are named after major benefactors of the Trust:  David Jennens (Clare, Rowing 1949-51), Sir Adrian Cadbury (King’s, Rowing/Skiing 1949-52), Bob Barber (Magdalene, Cricket/Athletics 1954-57)  Sir Arthur Marshall (Jesus, Athletics 1922-26), Roy Calvocoressi (Magdalene, Real Tennis 1950-53), and Christopher Pratt (St Catharine’s, Athletics). In addition the Bill Downey (Emmanuel, Rugby 1954-57) bequest makes awards specifically to Emmanuel College students, and the Ian Lang (Rowing 1946-51) bequest makes an annual Award to a rower.

Application Timeline

Applications are normally submitted by a date which is defined in the middle of Lent Term and advertised to all colleges and sports clubs.  The Trustees make their decisions before the end of that term. Each year the awards are announced in the University Reporter and either at the end of Lent Term, or early in Easter Term, a reception is arranged at the Hawks’ Club at which the Awards are made.

The Future

The future? There is little doubt of the value of these Awards to the individuals who receive them, nor, to judge from the number of excellent applications, the fact that they are necessary in the current student financial climate.

The Fund is now by far the largest in the university to provide help to sportsmen and women and the Trustees are convinced that prudent management will allow the total level of the Awards to be increased steadily over the years.

Certainly this is the aim, for there is even less doubt about the success of those to whom Awards have been given than their need; their names have featured in Summer and Winter Olympics, World, and European Championships and Commonwealth Games, as well as myriad international and national competitions across the sporting world.

In addition to expanding the current range of support to individuals, the Trustees would wish in the future to:

  • Make occasional much larger individual Awards (where for example, major international potential can be identified).
  • Support clubs or teams on a general basis.
  • Consider supporting the establishment or development of sporting facilities.

To do this we need considerably more capital and attracting that is a fundamental objective. The programme devised by Club’s Development Committee in 2017 is set out to grow the Trust significantly. We intend that charitable objectives will be at the heart of the Club’s activities.

In addition to its current activities, the Trust can facilitate the transfer of funds should any Hawk have a particular project, within the charitable objectives, that he wishes to endow.

Donating to the Trust

Members of the Club who would like to learn more about the policies of The Charitable Trust, or would like to contribute a sum, large or small, via gift or legacy, to the endowment should contact Andrew Muston, one of The Trust’s Trustees.

Appropriate links for providing donations are available on the donations and legacies pages.

It is certainly a very worthwhile cause and because it is a registered charity (No. 1052904), the Chancellor of the Exchequer adds to every donation made by Gift Aid and subtracts legacies from estates before inheritance tax.

Page last modified: 11 October 2018