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 September 27th 2012
A friendly social environment
Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness
Wimbledon Racquets and fitness is a sports and social club for people who play squash and badminton. They also have a gym, sports shop, and a pool and snooker table. It is a friendly environment where staff and members all know each other and get along well.
The club first opened in 1937, and as the number of members have grown, it has increased the number of courts and refurbished the grey, tired looking lounge into a bright and relaxing place to eat.
Today the club holds many tournaments, squash and badminton lessons, and fitness classes.
The club have seven badminton courts to play on, four of which are opposite the lounge for spectator viewing. There are beginners & improver classes held between 5pm-7pm, which are open to non-members who are interested in joining. There are also 'graded' sessions for members Monday-Friday evenings, which gives you the chance to rank up the leader board.
The club is open to both adults and children, with junior coaching being given by highly qualified coaches. The classes suit all abilities, with three different coaching programmes: Raw, Developing, and Emerging.
Junior drop in sessions are at 9.30am every Saturday, so you can take your kids there and let them have a go before deciding to join. There is no need to book, just show up and have fun. It doesn't matter if you don't have any equipment as racquets can be hired from the store.
There are six squash courts at the Racquets & Fitness club, two of which have glass backed panelling with spectator seats. Beginner sessions are held on Sundays between 4.30pm-5.30pm, directly followed by the Improvers group until 7pm. There is also an advanced class that lasts till 8.30pm.
They also hold junior coaching for members, non-members, and local schools. The beginner classes are held on Sundays between 2.30pm - 3.30pm, followed by improver sessions until 4.30pm. On Friday Improvers and Advanced players can take part in a session between 5pm-6pm.
There is also a junior squash academy on Mondays at 5.20pm-7.20pm.
A game of snooker can be booked at any time. Although I am not a member anymore, I still sometimes go as a guest to play a game. The snooker table is on a top floor balcony/storage room, overlooking two of the squash courts. It can be a bit of a long climb up the stairs when you are trying to carry a tray of snooker balls, two snooker cues, and your drinks at the same time.
If anyone is playing squash at the time it can be distracting (ironically, there is a sign on the wall warning snooker players not to disturb the squash players). The room does get very cold, so they have a portable radiator in that you can turn on when you're in there. They also have a board tally so you can keep score, and have recently recovered the table with a new surface.
You can get more than just pub grub though, as they have a range of panini made fresh from the kitchen, and moreish homemade cakes. They have a very good quality hot food menu that changes according to the season; meals include delicious pastas, hotpots, pizzas, and curries.