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There is a huge range of sport in Lambeth to get involved with. Lots of popular classics of course, such as football, rugby and tennis, but with the more tricky letters comes some alternative sporting activities that may well spark your intrigue. So the list cleverly starts with the letter A (yes we’ve been to school) and winds its way through the sports, doing the Lambeth Walk, until it crosses the finish line at Z.
Aussie Rules Football: The Wandsworth Demons play on Clapham Common to play the Australian game. They argue that they are the biggest Aussie Rules club outside of Australia. The club revives itself each summer, ready for the playing season, and organises a number of social events including trips abroad.
Basketball: The Brixton Topcats produce many excellent youth basketball players, attracting over 200 young people each week. Junior training sessions are led by qualified coaches on Wednesday and Friday evenings and cost just £4. They also have a men’s division and a women’s local league.
Climbing: The Vauxwall Climbing Centre features 8 circuits of climbing challenges, a traverse wall, circuit board and more. Adult tickets are £10.50/ £7.50 off-peak and kids pay £8.50/ £6.50 off peak.
Diving: Where else would you be getting your diving qualifications, than Clapham North? Big Squid offers a range of PADI courses for beginners and qualified divers. Local and international diving trips are arranged so the trainees can experience an alternative open water to the puddles and ponds of Clapham.
Equestrian: E is a pretty tricky letter to sort out, but amazingly Vauxhall houses the most central riding centre in London. Vauxhall City Farm has 9 horses; Annie, Fin, Lucky, Mouse Polo, Darcy, Billy, Herbie and Valentine who you can ride in group or private lessons. There are also special sessions geared towards disabled riders.
Football: Clapham Common is the go to spot for grass play, with 8 full sized pitches. For a full sized 3G astroturf, head to Kennington Park where you can play under floodlights and with easily accessible changing facilities. Powerplay also run football leagues that are played here and throughout Lambeth in Waterloo, Brixton and more.
Golf: So there are no sophisticated golf clubs, so to speak, in Lambeth, but you can go absolutely mental at Birdies’ Crazy Golf Club in Waterloo. Tickets for the 9-hole course are £9 a pop. Finish off the putting with a Tiger’s Wood cocktail and a “Rockadollar” hotdog.
Hurling: Hurling is a Gaelic sport which is immensely popular in its home country. It’s sort of like a hardcore, more aggressive version of hockey, but instead of a puck there is a ball called the “sliotar” which is about the size of a tennis ball but the weight of a rock, so players wear helmets so they don’t get concussed too often. The sliotar can be carried on the player’s “hurley” stick and whacked about the pitch and hopefully into some goals. Sean Tracey’s Hurling GAA play in Clapham Common and with the game requiring 15 players a side, they welcome anyone with a love for the game. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Ice-hockey: Whether you’re American/ Canadian and had a cool teenhood hanging around the rink, or you’ve watched American 90s movies and fancy yourself as a Mighty Duck, Streatham Chief Ice Hockey Club is there to help you realise your dreams. The club trains at the full sized Streatham Ice Arena. The arena is open to family skating, figure skating, ice hockey, birthday parties and more.
Jitsu: St Thomas Jitsu is a martial arts club teaching self defense using a range of locks, strikes and throws. Jitsu uses the opponent’s strength and momentum against them. Sessions take place on Monday and Thursday evenings, with the first session free of charge.
Karting: Streatham offers a uniquely cool karting experience, where racing is done on ice-tracks with studded tyre go-karts. Suitable for adults and children aged 12 and over, you can book the track for parties, stag dos, casual groups or work events. Driving on icy roads doesn’t come cheap though, as prices start from £62.99pp.
Lacrosse: Clapham Lacrosse Club has an energetic and welcoming ladies team. They train on Tuesday Evenings at Kennington Park Astroturf (nearest station is Oval) and play matches on Sundays.
Mixed Martial Arts: Urban Warriors Academy is one of London’s premier mixed martial arts and functional fitness gyms. Just a 5 minute walk from Vauxhall Station, the gym boasts world class instructors who conduct classes in Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Dirty Boxing, Krav Maga, Kali/ Eskrima, Muay Thai, boxing and strength and conditioning. There are no extra frills and the Academy have a practical approach to combat fitness, but the centre retains state of the art equipment for optimum performance. Memberships can be purchased for £50 a month.