Meet The Captains

Men's Captain - Viral Gudiwala


3rd Year Medicine


St John's



Started Fives


How did you start playing Fives?

I had originally played Rossall fives at sixth form after wanting to experience something new, but it was not until reaching university that I played Eton Fives. I was interested to see what it would be like to play Rugby but quickly found that Eton was much more the game for me, and have played continuously since then.

How often do you play?

Typically, two times a week unless there is a weekend fixture or a knock about at the Magdalene courts. It is a really quick sport to pick up, once you have the basics, so by playing this much I have been able to learn quite quickly and develop, which has been very rewarding.

What do you like about fives?

The game itself is so fun to play but the mixture of people and the community is so great also that it really makes it enjoyable. I've had many games where I have been wanting to play more but did not have any more energy and many where playing several hours in a day only feels like you've been playing for a few minutes! More importantly, no matter what the game is, or who you are playing, the people are genuinely great, sportsperson like and it's just fun! I really don't know what more else to say!

Would you recommend that something thinking of taking up fives come along to the Sports Centre to give it a go because it's a really fun game with a really great community?

Yes, in a heart beat!

Ladies' Captain - Clara Calderbank


3rd Year Land Economy





Started Fives

First Year of Uni

When did you start playing fives?

I first tried fives when I was in sixth form at Shrewsbury School. I was recovering from a running injury and decided to try something completely different. I was intrigued by this game since it was so popular at school, yet I’d never heard of it before I joined Shrewsbury.

Why did you continue playing fives?

Fives is a very rewarding sport – when I started, I could feel myself improving with every session and I found that really satisfying. The game is also highly unpredictable, such that every rally is different from the previous one, so it is hard to get bored of it! Also, fives is always played in doubles, which means it is quite a sociable game and has allowed me to meet some lovely people.

How often do you play?

There are training sessions twice a week and we usually play a match or a tournament during the weekend.

How would you describe the Cambridge team?

The Cambridge team is a group of really friendly, welcoming and encouraging people. During every session we manage to have a laugh and enjoy ourselves, as well as give each other tips in order to improve.

What have been your favourite fives moments?

Varsity match last year. My partner and I played our best fives that day and even though we lost, we received so much support from the rest of the team. The day was made even better by the boozy dinner with the Oxford team after the matches.

President - Riki Houlden


5th Year Medicine





Started Fives

8 years ago

Why did you start playing Fives?

I had really enjoyed playing squash since the age of 11, but found that no-one else was really as keen a player at secondary school. A lot of my best friends played fives so told me to come and give it a go, and I thought I may as well since it was easily the closest alternative to squash there was - had no idea that it'd become such an obsession!

What did you like about fives?

It's basically a playground game, but one that's recognised as an actual official sport. I.e. it's the most fun game I've ever played, I can't remember the last time I was on court and didn't laugh out loud ^_^

How often do you play a week?

3 times per week on average

What would you say to someone considering playing fives?

Come to the SC to try it out! We have guys and girls who had never heard of the sport before uni who loved it so much that it's now their main sport :D

Favourite moment in fives

Captaining the Cambridge side to Varsity Match victory in March 2016, best moment of my life not just fives! (#fivesislife)

How would you explain fives in one sentence?

Squash with your hands... but then take away the back wall, add some brick pillars in the back corners, some ledges along the walls, a step in the middle and back, and finally a stonking block of concrete next to the left wall just to keep things interesting.

Greatest achievement in fives?

Explaining what the hell fives is to hundreds of people at the Freshers Fair

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