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Sport & Keeping Fit
Visit health-club.net for a list of sports centres in west London with their facilities. If you are a student at Westcroft Square get a certificate from Reception and you can claim reduced membership rates at Sports Dimension.
- Hygiene: standards vary from centre to centre. You will find that you can shower and disinfect your feet before entering pools, but most people don't. Bathing caps aren't compulsory.
- Membership: some sports centres give reduced rates for members. It may be worth getting a year's membership if you are staying for a few months. There are usually no student reductions.
- Security: always use the clothes lockers in the changing rooms (they take between 20p and 50p) and avoid taking credit cards or too much money. Lockers can be broken into.
Brent Valley Golf Club, Church Road, Hanwell, W7
Tel: 020 8567 1287
Web: Golf Today Course Guide
Buses 207 or 607 from Shepherds Bush to Ealing Hospital, then the 282 or 92 to the course, or take the train from Paddington to Hanwell and walk for 5 minutes.
Perivale Park Golf Club, Stockdove Way, off Argyle Road, Perivale
Tel: 020 8575 7116
Web: Golf Today Course Guide
Ealing Broadway Tube, then E1/E3 bus.
Richmond Park Golf Club
Tel: 020 8876 1795
Web: Golf Today Course Guide
Set in the beautiful Richmond Park, a short journey from the school, this large 18 hold course has pay to play green fees, and can hire shoes, clubs and buggies. The nearest public transport points are Barnes station (British Rail) and Richmond (District Line – Underground).
There are many public and private tennis courts in west London. Depending on your standard, or the standard you expect from the court you can play at:
- Unsupervised courts in parks: at some you play for free, some may not be very well cared for. You have to take all your own equipment. Each borough or area has its own courts. These are listed in the pages that follow.
- Supervised courts in parks: the average price for a court for an hour is £4.00. You usually have to turn up and see if you can play. Booking a court is usually an honour reserved for members, but check as some borough offices take bookings from anybody. The courts are supervised by a park warden and you usually have to take your own equipment.
- Sports centres: there are many centres nearby and some have outdoor courts. The cost is again £4.00 per court per hour. Courts are well cared for. In some centres you can book the court in advance, and must pay the same night to secure the booking. Visit health-club.net for a list of sports centres in west London with their facilities.
- Tennis Clubs: clubs in England can be quite expensive and elitist. The Holland Park Lawn Tennis club behind the school allows people to become temporary members for a minimum of 3 months which will cost you £95 per month. The courts are outdoor. The Carlton Tennis Club in Westbourne Green also offers a good standard of facilities with indoor courts. Here you will be expected to pay a guest fee of £10 per visit, as well as £15 for a court.
- Holland Park Lawn Tennis Club, 1 Addison Rd , W14. Tel 020 7603 3928.
- Carlton Tennis Club, Alfred Road , W2. Tel 020 7266 3080
- Private Teaching: Dean is the tennis and squash coach at the Kensington Sports Centre and also works privately. He offers group tuition classes during the summer at £5 a session, which is a great way to meet English people and make new friends.
Wimbledon Tennis Tournament
Tickets bought in advance are assigned by a ballot system and the closing date for entering the ballot for next year's tournament is at the end of each year. Prices for the Centre Court start at £24 for the first Monday and go up to £60 for the day of the final. Tickets at No. 1 Court start at £15.
To enter the ballot you need to contact the AELTC at the following address: PO Box 98, Wimbledon, SW19 5AE
There are a limited number of Centre Court and No.1 Court tickets for sale on the day. The queue starts early - many people arrive the day before and even have sleeping bags! If you can't face queuing for the tickets sold on the day, the way to enjoy Wimbledon is to buy a ground pass and watch play on the outside courts. Then when spectators leave the show courts you can buy their tickets for £5, or £3 after 5pm. If it stays light you can watch four hours of tennis for less than £10. Ground passes cost about £10, reduced after 5pm.
For more information call 020 8971 2473 or visit the official Wimbledon website.
It is usually impossible to get tickets for Chelsea or Arsenal matches unless you are already a member. And buying tickets from people trying to sell tickets outside the stadium is illegal and not recommended.
You can usually get tickets for the Championship teams in London. These cost between £20 - £30 a ticket and the teams are West Ham, Watford, Brentford and the local team, Queen's Park Rangers (their ground is in Shepherd's Bush).
Additionally, in the summer months on every Thursday we are organising Five-a-Side Football near Ravenscourt Park for the students.
Cycling in London can be very enjoyable; it can also be very dangerous. If you really want to cycle here protect yourself with a helmet (£35), for busy roads a pollution mask (£20) and for everywhere a good lock (£30). The London Cycling Campaign has a very good website for general information. If you are staying in London for more than a couple of months it makes more sense to buy a second-hand bicycle. You will find many for sale in the daily 'Loot' newspaper.
Bicyle hire: For a full list of cycle hire places, visit London Cycling Campaign.
The best cycling parks are: Richmond Park, Hyde Park, Clapham Common, Hampstead Heath. These parks have designated cycle routes. Wimbledon Common and Battersea Park are also good for cycling but do not have designated cycle routes.
The closest riding centre to the school is the Hyde Park Riding Stables. The stables are almost opposite the main entrance to the Royal Lancaster Hotel. You have to book in advance, at least 48 hours, but you can ride every day except Monday from approximately 07.15 until 19.00 in the summer and 07.15 until 17.00 hours in the winter.
There are also the British Horse Society approved stables near Wimbledon Common and Putney Heath. They have classes and horses to suit both nervous beginners and experienced riders – Wimbledon Village Stables. Booking is essential, especially at weekends.