Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published July 15th 2014
Scale Walls, Kick Butt, and Flex Like a Pretzel
Get Active Wandsworth Festival
When my yoga teacher informed me about a fitness event going on over the weekend, I made my way to King George's Park Saturday afternoon, where Wandsworth was holding a Get Active Festival for the borough and its surrounding constituencies. The festival was organised by the council to let the community know about all the different sport and fitness clubs people could take part in over the summer. It also had several medical and nutrition stalls providing guidance and advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle. So what just can you do in and around Wandsworth this summer to keep you and the family active?
The first thing I spotted from a distance were King George's Tennis Courts, which are used by the All Tennis Stars Club during the week. Members and trainers were there giving demonstrations, while in between the courts was an inflatable target practice for kids, who could have a go at whack tennis balls.
Opposite the tennis courts is an outdoor bowls green which can be used Mondays Wednesdays, and Fridays between 1.30pm – 4pm. There is no need to book, just drop in and see the Lifetime Tennis Club.
Juniors can keep active for free in King George's Park without the need to join any clubs as there is an adventure playground full of climbing frames to scramble about on. There is also a smaller playground with swings by the picnic area for toddlers too.
A roll up athletics track had the kids racing just like it was sports day all over again. If you like going for a run, then there are several clubs to join, including the Battersea Youth Jogging Group, Beginners Jogging Group, Battersea Mum's Running Club, and Be Cool Running.
Aerobics & Martial Arts
One section of the park was dedicated to aerobics, martial arts, and various other forms of exercise. This is where I met up with my yoga and pilates teacher, and she invited me to take part in a pilates routine with her fellow instructors. Wandsworth and the surrounding boroughs have a variety of weekly adult classes available at community centres, churches, halls etc. For example, St. John's Hill Centre in Battersea holds Tai Chi, Pilates, and Keep Fit for over 50s, while Newlands Community Hall in Putney Vale has Zumba. Download the brochure for the whole list of activities.
Battersea Summer Scheme
The Battersea Summer Scheme is an organisation that puts together fun holiday events for disadvantaged children. As well as sports and holiday camps, they also provide day trips to places like the beach and the zoo.
Get Rhetoric E.A. CIC is a children's dance school, teaching street dance. At the moment, they are running a charitable project to bring dance to Ghana, and are raising money for the trip. The children at Get Rhetoric gave several performances throughout the day.
One fun activity that promoted both exercise an nutrition was the Smoothie Cycle. When I went up to the stall, I was able to select my fruit and juice, which was then put into a blender on the back of a bicycle. I then had to pedal, which would activate the blend and blitz all my fruit into a delicious smoothie drink. There are various ways you can find out more about cycling here.
I've tried rock climbing a couple of times, and it is no easy feat, so when I saw the steep multi-level climbing I wall, I was very impressed at how high some of the children had got. It does not look particularly high when your standing on the ground, but when your up there, it looks and feels like you've scaled a tall mountain.
I've never liked archery, – I can't even hold the arrow inside the bow – but for those who are more competent than me, you can join Southfields Archery Club, which accepts ages from 8 to adult.
The mini putting course at King George's Park is nothing compared to the large adventure Putt in the Park golf course at Wandsworth Park, but it definitely gave kids a taster of the fun you can have there.
If you are looking for something a bit different from your typical sports, then why not join the Putney Bridge Canoe Club? The go kayaking along The River Thames, whitewater rivers, artificial courses, and even on the sea. For those who are new to the sport, the provide pool kayaking as a way to train.
Go Mammoth aims 'to be the most social and fun sports club in the land', and offers a variety of team ball sports, including football, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, netball, softball, and touch rugby.