• By Ellen O'Riordan on Apr 25, 2016

The A to Z of Sports Facilities in Southwark - Part 1

Southwark is home to many of London’s famous landmarks, markets and cultural venues.  The area does not disappoint on the sporting front either, with a number of parks offering free sporting facilities such as tennis courts, basketball courts and football pitches, as part of the Southwark Council’s free sports policy. There is also a plethora of sociable and competitive sports clubs to get involved with.  Whether you’re a fan of popular games, such as rugby and football, or you prefer a more alternative sport, like holding your breath underwater whilst hitting a ball with a stick, there is an activity and social circle to fit your fancy.

Athletics:  

The Southwark Council are putting a huge effort into getting youths and the general population into athletics.  The Southwark Park Athletics Track is currently undergoing a major regeneration.  The London City Athletics Club runs junior athletics sessions to young people between the ages of 8 and 16.  Training is held on the athletics track at Dulwich College Sports Centre on Saturdays and costs £3.50.  Every Saturday at 9am, Burgess Park sees a 5km run event.  Led by Parkrun the weekly event is free and open to runners of all standard.

BMX:  

Burgess Park’s BMX track opened in 2013 and is open to anyone who rocks up for a ride.  During the summer holidays, 8 to 16 year olds can dust off their helmets and wheel on down to track for fun training.  The course runs from 10am to 3pm during the holidays and costs just £12 per person per day, which includes bike and equipment hire.  To book email southwark.sports@quadronservices.co.uk or call 020 7708 5464.

Cricket:  

There are a number of active cricket clubs in the Southwark area.  Burgess Park Academy Cricket Club has 6 cricket teams, including an Under 21 and Under 17 team.  You can contact the club through their website.  Southwark Park Cricket Club have net sessions at Downside Fisher on Thursdays and actively compete in leagues and competitions.  You can enquire about joining sessions or the team via a contact form on the website.  If you don’t fancy joining a team and simply want to have a bat and a bowl with your mates you can book a cricket pitch and practice nets in Belair Park, Burgess Park or Dulwich Park.

 

Dancing:

Studio 68 is renowned and prosperous amongst the professional dance community.  If you head down, you will be amazed by the talent heating up the rooms. But while their advanced and professional department is thriving, Studio 68 also has a number of beginner and general classes that welcome people of all backgrounds and musical talent.  Classes are cheap and more affordable than other classes that are marketed specifically as “Dance Fitness”.  Instead of paying close to £30 for a Barrefit class, you can take a ballet class for £6 or get your groove on at one of the studio’s Vogue, Hip Hop or Dance Vibes classes.

Equestrian:  

If you’re hoping to gallop, jump or trot in the Southwark area, Dulwich Riding School is the place to do it, on horseback anyway.  The stables offer group lessons (£25 per hour), private lessons (£35), birthday parties and group bookings.  

Football:

Get involved in a football league with Power Play at the Colombo Centre’s 3G pitches.  Sessions occur weekly Mondays to Wednesdays.  Burgess Park Community Sports Ground offers a full sized 3G pitch and 3 seven-a-side 3G pitches.  Throughout the year on Saturdays, an Under 16 Youth League meet at the pitches for training sessions led by highly skilled coaches.  Nasaa Academy is another example of youth football programmes in the area.  They focus on delivering top notch football training to youths in some of the most deprived areas.  They hold community sessions at Myatt’s Fields Park.  Email info@nasaa-academy.com for enquiries.  If you’re simply looking for a kickabout with the gang, Southwark’s many parks provide a huge number of full-sized grass pitches which are available to hire through the Southwark Council.

Gaelic Football:

 The demand for Gaelic football coverage has recently been picked up by Sky Sports who now cover the sport’s important matches.  The Irish alternative to regular soccer, Gaelic football uses a smaller, but heavier ball, usually with the word “O’Neills” written across it, but the real difference is less about the size of the ball and more to do with how you handle it.  You’re allowed to hand pass the ball and you can travel across the pitch whilst bouncing and kicking it before you have the choice of scoring a goal or hoofing it over the post.  The Dulwich Harps provide a Gaelic Football Community for men, women and youths.  For enquiries relating to the Men’s teams contact Alan Grogan on 07 472 211445, for the Ladies email Sharon Hughes on dulwichharpsladies@gmail.com and for Youth team queries phone Pat Winston on 07 734 250375.

Hockey:  

Southwark has a strong hockey presence with both the Suburban Hockey and Southwark Tigers providing coaching and match experiences for junior players.  The Tigers give informal training to kids aged 7 to 13 on Fridays on the Burgess Park Astro pitch.  Email info@suburbanhockey.co.uk to get involved.  Tulse Hill and Dulwich Hockey club was born when the two respective clubs (male and female) joined forces to become one giant superclub.  The teams play on sand-based Astro pitches at Dulwich College, James Allen’s Girls’ School and Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.  With over 15 teams playing every weekend and a comprehensive junior academy, there is a team for everyone.  Email info@thehockeyclub.com to enquire about joining.

 

Indoor Sports:  

Many of our favourite sports are completely ruined when the weather decides to have a tantrum and let’s face it, in London we’re no strangers to rain.  But most of these sports can be transported indoors, such as kayaking in a swimming pool at designated sessions (don’t go dunking your boat into a family swim session), indoor tennis courts and, of course, the mother room; the sports hall.  The City of London Academy is located near to South Bermondsey Station and has a fully equipped sports hall which can fit a full sized basketball court, 4 badminton courts, football, roller skating, archery, handball and hockey.  Phone 0207 394 5165 or email lettings@cityacademy.co.uk to book.  The Lewis Sports and Leisure Centre have a fantastic sports hall with extensive floor marking, goals and basketball hoops.  It can be rented for £36 an hour by phoning 020 8771 4508.

Judo:  

Aylwin Judo Club believes that their expert instructors can very quickly teach you the core techniques of Judo.  The club can be found on Southwark Park Road and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Classes are available to adults and children over the age of 5 and cost just £3-£4.  No matter what your previous experience, Aylwin Judo Club can improve your skill.  Make sure to arrive 10 minutes before your first session to complete the registration forms.
Kayaking:  No, you don’t have to travel to the coast to partake in this sport.  The Surrey Docks Watersports Centre provides internationally recognised qualification courses for adults and juniors above the age of 8.  Once skills and confidence are gained, members and nonmembers can hire the kayaks and take them out to the docks, or they can get involved with the organised races and water skills kayaking.  You can book online or call the centre on 020 72374009.

Local players


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Local venues

Burgess Park

Albany Road Old Kent Road Camberwell South London SE5 7JW

Wickway Community Centre

245 St George's Way Southwark Peckham South London SE15 6PL

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