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Unveiling the future of the game

March 26th, 2024

Avatar of Megan Balmont

Megan Balmont

Client Support Specialist

Join us in celebrating the history of and introducing the redesigned school sports portals.

The story of is a tale of innovation born out of necessity, tracing its roots back to a common challenge faced by many parents across the UK in the late 1990s. Phil and Hilary Kershaw-Naylor, along with countless other parents in their community, found themselves grappling with the challenge of staying updated on their children's busy sports schedules.

The Kershaw-Naylor children wanted more information on the next school they were playing; how good were they, did they have any England U18s playing for them; had they really beaten Millfield?!!

The coaches of these top schools also had their own distinct set of needs: what competitions were available to enter; were any schools available to fill a quiet weekend with a block fixture; could they fine tune their own fixture lists?  They were also drowning in admin and this was taking time away from their main passion: coaching.

In 1998, Phil harnessed his extensive experience in information technology to build a solution, not just for his family, but for the whole community. In an era when information was scattered and often communicated through last-minute letters, the wider need for a centralised platform was clear.

Of course, at its inception, was a labour of love. The Kershaw-Naylors embarked on a mission, reaching out to rugby-playing schools across the country by letter to compile a comprehensive fixture list. Their efforts were as much about easing the administrative load on coaches as they were about keeping parents and players informed.

The Original Schools Rugby in 2000

By 2000, had become a vital resource, attracting over 10 million hits and serving as a centralised hub for school rugby information. The platform’s incredible growth, fuelled largely by the dedication of its founders, quickly transformed the site from the passion project of two involved parents to a valued resource for reliable fixture and result information.

The evolution of the site didn’t stop there. The team worked tirelessly to enhance its technology, the first big evolutionary leap being the introduction of CoachLogin, which allowed staff to manage their own sports schedules more efficiently. This move simplified the lives of coaches, players, and parents alike, transforming the website from a useful information source to an essential tool for school sports management.

Of course, as the site evolved, so did its appearance. Annual updates to the architecture of not only enhanced its functionality but also brought fresh visual elements to the forefront.

Schools Rugby 2004
Schools Rugby 2008

In 2013, the website underwent a significant redesign, expanding its scope to include various school sports under the new banner of and introducing FixturesPRO (the predecessor to SOCS Sport) which allowed team selection, match reporting, and statistical analysis, among other new functionality. What originated as Phil's vision to empower coaches to log in and manage their scores had blossomed into a transformative tool, enabling schools to efficiently oversee and disseminate fixture information within their communities.

The journey of, from its inception to becoming a comprehensive sports management platform, is a testament to the power of community-driven innovation. The Kershaw-Naylor family’s initiative has not only made sports scheduling more accessible but has also fostered a stronger sense of community among players, parents, and schools across the world. From this strong foundation, SOCS was born - a comprehensive school co-curricular management system now used by over a thousand schools across the world.

Schools Rugby 2013

Now, in 2024, and its companion sites have once again been brought up to date with the ever-evolving landscape of school sport. While the core functionality of the site remains untouched, the portals have been brought in line with the evolved SOCS branding. With streamlined navigation, enhanced user experience, and an updated feel, the redesigned Schools Rugby is ready to empower players, parents, coaches, and fans alike. As we embark on this exciting new chapter, we invite you to explore the redesigned Schools Rugby and join us in celebrating the enduring spirit of School Sport.

Schools Rugby 2024

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