Bicentenary of Rugby Football Art Competition

Closing date for entries 31 January 2023

2023 marks 200 years since William Webb Ellis took the ball in his arms and ran with it on The Close at Rugby School, thus creating the global game of rugby football. To mark this anniversary, and to engage young people between the ages of 7 and 18, Rugby School, along with Rugby Borough Council and the Wooden Spoon charity, are running an art competition based on the theme of “rugby football”.

Entrants can choose what medium they use to produce their piece.

The top 50 winning entries from each age group will have an image of their artwork displayed on a giant rugby ball in the town centre of Rugby, Warwickshire. The winner of each age group will also be invited to Rugby School on Saturday 24 June 2023 to watch a re-enactment of the game and have tea in our hospitality tent.

Entries should be submitted as a high-res image of the original piece. Winners and selected entries will then be asked to submit their original work to be showcased on a “Pathway of Art” around Rugby School and in the windows of commercial properties around Rugby town centre.

Judging will take place on Wednesday 22nd March 2023 by our panel of judges.  Winners will be announced via our social media channels and by email to the winners by Friday 31st March 2023.


The image shows the ball located outside Costa Coffee near Asda. This was designed by primary school children in Rugby to celebrate the Queen's Platinium Jubilee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to enter?

The competition is open to children in the United Kingdom. Parents/ Guardian consent will be need for children Under 16.

Entries will be judged in the following age groups:

  • Key Stage 2 (school years 3 to 6)
  • Key Stage 3 (school years 7 to 9)
  • Key stage 4 (school years 10 & 11)
  • Key stage 5 (school years 12 & 13)

What do I need to submit?

A piece of artwork, in your chosen medium, based on the theme of “rugby football”. The interpretation of this theme is up to the individual creating the piece.

How do I submit my entry?

Images must be in a .jpg, .gif, .png format only. Maximum file size 5mb should be up uploaded.

Postal entries are accepted if accompanied by the application form.

What are the entry dates?

Entries will be received up to midnight on 31st January 2023 

When will the winners be announced?

Winners will be announced by 31st March 2023 via our website and social media channels: @rugbyschool1567

What is the prize?

The top 50 entries from each age category will have an image of their artwork printed on a giant rugby ball in the town centre of Rugby, Warwickshire.

There will one first prize winner from each age category, who will be invited for tea along with their parents/ guardians whilst watching a re-enactment of the game from 1823 at Rugby School on Saturday 24th 2023.