Harry McInley (OC 2004-2011)
How has sport helped you post Caterham?
In many ways, but mainly as a way to forge new friendships when entering into a new environment. There are countless examples of this, from going to Australia on my own for a gap year, as a fresher at university and when spending a winter in South Africa in 2019. Sport is a common thread and a way to easily connect with new communities and groups and provide a sense of belonging.
What is your favourite memory of sport at school?
The 1st XI Cricket team had an amazing team win against Portsmouth Grammar School when I was in my penultimate year. PGS were known as a strong cricket side and came into the game as strong favourites. It was a day where everything came together as a team to complete a famous victory, capped off by a remarkable run out by wicket keeper Craig Moore. Special.
What would be the achievement you are most proud of while at school?
This would no doubt have been Captaining the 1st XI for cricket in my final year, for which I guttingly wasn’t able to play due to a knee cartilage injury. However, I worked my way into the 1st XI hockey side as a less talented player but as a hard working right back in my final year. I remember a few really excellent team and underdog wins against formidable schools which really stick out.
Are you still in contact with any of your teammates?
Yes, some people I played sport with at school are still close mates. In particular, the people I played in the 1st XI Cricket team with, we will still remember particular games and funny moments to this day.
How has your experience of sport at Caterham helped post school?
The development of my cricket game allowed me ultimately to reach first class level whilst at Durham university. A few particular teachers and mentors stood out, Sandy Ross, Chris Stone, Andy Patterson & Richard Smith to name a few – ultimately giving me the confidence and tools to take my cricket as far as it could go.
What you are doing now?
Whilst I was at school my Dad was busy running a business in the golf industry. It wasn’t until finishing university and not really knowing ‘what I wanted to do’ that it became clear my path was to work for the family business and bring a fresh perspective to the business. This led me to creating my own golf event start-up with my brother, 1PUTT Golf, to make the game more accessible and bring new audiences into the game. During a break amid Covid, I set up a podcast to talk about entrepreneurial ventures and challenges and I am in the process of building a community!
What advice would you give your schoolboy self?
Try and find a lesson in everything that happens – even the ‘bad’ stuff. A horrible knee injury that hampered my final year of cricket has made me more respectful of my body and more grateful for the sport when I could play again. Not getting graduate jobs, which seemed like the end of the world at the time, in hindsight were clear signs that I should find a different path.