About Us

The 1876 Trust is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) founded in 2024 to support the activities of Oxford University Cross Country Club (OUCCC). The trust aims to fundraise for the club, coordinate its alumni relations, and advise its student committee, thereby ensuring the club’s long-term prosperity and success.

The idea of a CIO emerged under the captaincy of Thomas Renshaw (2022-3) and was developed under the captaincy of Jared Martin (2023-4). Both worked with Simon Molden, Honorable Secretary at Thames Hare & Hounds, to thresh out the workings of the Trust and draft its constitution. In tandem with this, five trustees were interviewed and appointed to manage the Trust. The inaugural meeting of The 1876 Trust was held at St Cross College, Oxford, in February 2024.

Establishing a CIO was seen to offer several long-term benefits for OUCCC and its members. These benefits included:

  • The establishment of formalised communication channels between the OUCCC committee and a rotating cadre of qualified and experienced alumni, allowing the former to benefit from the advice of the latter.
  • The leveraging of the trustees’ diverse skill-set to help the OUCCC committee more confidently and competently navigate complex issues relating to budgeting, fundraising, and sports governance.
  • The consolidation and supervision of OUCCC development funds by the trustees. Following an application, portions of these funds could be released to the club, improving scrutiny and ensuring responsible expenditure.
  • The development of a long-term fundraising strategy, aided by continuity of personnel and longer-term vision, whose success could secure the financial future of OUCCC and significantly improve the experience of its members.

In the immediate term, The 1876 Trust aims to dramatically increase the scale of regular donations. This would help stabilise the OUCCC’s year-to-year financial position and prevent the imposition of membership fee raises amid soaring transport costs, externally-imposed charges from the University, and a more serious performance coaching agenda.

In the medium-term, The 1876 Trust intends to fundraise for an endowment fund to support the activities of OUCCC. £200,000 would allow us to establish an endowment fund with Oxford University Endowment Management, whose investment policies ensure that the real value of the endowment is preserved and augmented. Such a fund would be transformative for OUCCC. As well as safeguarding its long-term future, it could facilitate:

  • A high-quality, expanded coaching team.
  • Free Varsity kit for selected team athletes.
  • Free transport to and from races.
  • Free or heavily subsidised accommodation at BUCS.
  • A hardship fund to support economically disadvantaged members.
  • An elite athlete fund to support our top athletes.
  • Overseas training camps.

The above amounts to tens of thousands of pounds annually. Currently, these services are either not provided or charged to individual members on top of their membership fees. The returns from an endowment fund could upend this increasingly prohibitive financial status quo, improving student athlete experience and allowing OUCCC to consistently rival the top UK sporting universities. The 1876 Trust aims to have a transformative impact and we invite you to join us on this journey, whether by supporting our activities of donating to our fund.