History of Winsor Sports

By Caitlin Wang, Christina Gabrieli, and Serena Toscani

As it offers 14 sports teams for students to participate in, Winsor places a significant emphasis on its athletic program. Trisha Manda ’25, who has been an active member in numerous Winsor sports teams such as basketball and crew, says that her favorite aspect of Winsor sports is “the team environment and spirit where we are all working and training to get better both on and off the season.” The Banner interviewed school archivist Jane Otte ’57 to learn more about the fascinating history of sports at Winsor, and even got the scoop on the mysterious pool that used to exist in the school basement!

Mrs. Otte describes that when Winsor itself was founded in Beacon Hill, “[Ms. Winsor] was way ahead of her time.” She had always been an advocate for challenging academics as well as had an interest in physical fitness. Winsor students would play in the public garden, but the sports program was quite limited. Mrs. Otte says that “when Winsor was built [in the Longwood Area] in 1910, a lot of parents wanted their girls to have the same amenities and facilities that the public schools had, like gymnasium and fields.” Furthermore, it was not until the 1920s that the first Winsor gymnasium was built. “There were big rings on the top of the ceiling that had ropes and tests you had to pass,” Mrs. Otte explains. “There was also a lower gym, which had linoleum on the floors and poles. We had dance classes there.”

What happened to the Winsor pool? Mrs. Otte described Winsor’s old swimming pool as “revolutionary,” and Winsor students used to have a swim class requirement. However, there are many reasons as to why it is not in use anymore. Mrs. Otte says that firstly, “in the 70s, there was a fuel crisis, and the pool was being heated and serviced all the time.” It simply was not sustainable to keep the pool running. She also says that “it was not regulation size, and the swim teams were going to Northeastern to swim.”

How have Winsor sports changed over the years? Mrs. Otte says that there used to be four different gym uniform colors. “For instance, I came in class one and I got red. You had the same color for all eight years.” Additionally, although today Winsor plays against tough competition in the EIL and beyond, it used to mainly play within the school with the Fifes and Drums teams, currently known as the Panthers and Jaguars. When they did play against other schools, Brimmer and May and Milton Academy were their biggest rivals. It also used to be mandatory to play a sport every season, but that requirement is not in place anymore.

While sports at Winsor has evolved over the years along with different sports facilities being available for use, the school has certainly always prioritized physical well-being, whether that be in the form of playing in the public gardens or being able to be a part of a wide variety of competitive teams!