Recreational and Sports Amenities in Kingston Upon Hull

Possibly as a result of the relative geographic isolation of Hull, the city has developed a network of sporting and recreational facilities as good as any other city in the country. One of its rugby league teams even has a national reputation and holds one of the most readily identifiable sports team names in the country – Hull Kingston Rovers. At its various leisure and sports centres Hull city council offers the facilities and amenities for people to learn and develop skills in a comprehensive range of sports and activities from aerobics to yoga.

The professional football team in the Hull is Hull City FC who currently play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of English football. Playing in black and amber striped kit their nick-name is the Tigers and they play at the Kingston Communications Stadium, locally known as the KC, which was opened in 2002. The club was founded in 1904 but their only significant achievements to date have been to win what was the Football League Division III champion’s title, most recently in the 1965-66 season. Despite their lack of trophies Hull City have always been a well supported club and still regularly have home attendances of over 20,000.

A sport almost uniquely associated with the north of England is rugby league and Hull has two of the best clubs that play that sport. Hull Kingston Rovers is probably the better known of the two, having a better historic record of winning trophies. Known to their fans as ‘The Robins’, they have recently been promoted from the English Rugby League Division I to play in the European Super League, the top tier of rugby league competitions. Also playing in the Super League are the Robins greatest rivals and neighbours, Hull FC. Both codes of rugby are played in Hull and Hull RUFC is the senior rugby union team, playing in the National League Division 1 North. Also, Hull Ionians play rugby union in National League Division 3 North.

The city is home to one of the top Ice Hockey clubs in the country, the Hull Stingrays. They play ice hockey in the British National Elite League at the Hull Arena, on Kingston Street to the west of the city centre. Hull is unusual in having two ice hockey teams. The Kingston Cobras Ice Hockey Club, also play at the Hull Arena but are currently in a lower division – The English National Ice Hockey League 1 North. The Olympic size Hull Arena is also open to anyone wishing to learn, practice or develop their ice skating skills and is the Regional Centre of Excellence to the National Ice Skating Association. The top ‘Hockey’ club in Hull is the Hull Hockey Team, who were formed in 2001 from the Hull Welton Hockey Club, to take advantage of the new, city council owned, all-weather playing pitch at the KC Stadium. The senior men’s team plays in the Men’s National North Division and the senior women’s team plays in Division II East of the Northern Women’s Hockey League.

If you’re interested in playing, or learning how to play, tennis in Hull it has one of the most active and pro-active tennis schools in the country. The city council also provides limited access to municipal tennis courts. Generally speaking sport development in Hull is very strong, with the city council keen to ensure that facilities are not just available but are also easily accessible. The city has five municipal swimming baths. The Kingston Upon Hull Swimming Club meets at several swimming venues in the city, but uses the Ennerdale Sport and Leisure Centre for home competitions. Kingston upon Hull Athletic Club competes in the Northern Senior League – Division 2EC. They are based at the Costello Athletics stadium in west Hull that was opened in 1985 and has been recently refurbished to include a floodlit running track and throwing area.

Whilst there are two 18 hole municipal golf links in the city the first golf course to open in Hull was the Hull Golf Club at Kirk Ella, which was formed in 1904. Whilst the course is a very pleasant one in an excellent parkland setting, it is a fairly benign course – apart from the 10th hole that has a water hazard protecting its green. Kingston Upon Hull is about 50km (30 miles, across the river Humber, from the English Golf Union Headquarters at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire.

Being adjacent to a wide river, the Humber, as well as being close to the North Sea, Hull has a thriving sailing club. There are other sailing clubs nearby including; the Welton Sailing Club, the Humber Yawl Club and the Humber Mouth Yacht Club. Hull’s own marina can accommodate up to 300 yachts visiting the city. The area is also a popular venue for water-skiers, with eight water ski clubs in the region. Closest to Hull is the Yorkshire Water Ski Club which is based at Welton Waters, near Brough, some 8 km (5 miles) to the west of Hull.

Sports Clubs to Be Aware of Overzealous ‘Olympian Wannabees’

It was the hopes of the Organisers of London 2012 that the Olympics would inspire the nation to get out and get sporty, however our over zealousness has resulted in as much as 20% increase in sporting injuries according to recent research.*

Running injuries were the most common complaints followed by football and rugby. Tennis injuries were also on the increase. These have been attributed to the recent success of Gold Medal winner and nation’s favourite Andy Murray.

Health experts are urging people to be fully prepared when taking up a new sport and take preventative measures such as using the correct technique, warming up and cooling down, as well as resting and stretching between session.

Health and sports clubs also need to take some responsibility for the welfare of their members. Most establishments like to keep up to date with the health and wellbeing of their users. But it’s also important that there is a clear health and safety policy and necessary measures in place to deal with serious accidents and injuries.

A good risk assessment will allow sports centres to understand and control any potential hazards that may cause injury to their staff or customers. These can be anything from basic housekeeping and cleaning to a certain level of sanitation to ensuring that all staff are trained to deal with more medical emergencies.

In addition to this, it is important that all sports and social clubs keep up to date with changes to legislation as these may affect their approach to health and safety.

Being prudent with their approach to health and safety will help sports clubs to minimize the chances of litigation and taking responsibility and controlling potential hazardous situations may help to reduce their insurance premiums

Small businesses, including sports and social clubs that are not so prudent with their health and safety policies could also be in the firing line for the new ‘FFI’ (Fee for Intervention) due to come into force on 1st October 2012, which will allow the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to cover its costs for carrying out inspections on businesses found to be in breach of the health and safety laws.

The new ‘Fee for Intervention’ (FFI) has been criticised and deemed unfair by the federation of small businesses who have concerns that the practice could lead to a ‘heavy-handed’ and ‘inconsistent’ approach by HSE inspectors in their drive to recover money.

Clubs that put adequate controls in place will ensure that their customers can enjoy their sporting activities in the safest possible environments, and hopefully foster the next generation of British Olympians.

* Source: Research undertaken by BMI The Esperance Hospital

Sports Clubs in Tunbridge Wells

Royal Tunbridge Wells began life as a spa town when a local spring was discovered. The spring was said to have healing properties so the first people to visit and live there were associated with being healthy.

Natually, some of these people enjoyed sports and formed clubs so that they could enjoy playing their preferred sport in sociable surroundings. As well as the clubs established in the 18th and 19th centuries, during the latter half of the 20th century, a whole host of new sports clubs were formed which cater for minority sports such as Ju Jitsu and Zumba keep fit classes.

The cricket club is about the oldest established sports club in Tunbridge Wells, having been formed in 1782. The club is still going strong with a vibrant youth policy and 5 Saturday league teams. Their cricket ground, the Nevill Ground was established in 1895 and is currently one of the grounds used for Kent County games. During the first world war it was commandeered for grazing cavalry horses and during the second world war for holding troops.

Tunbridge Wells FC was set up in 1886 and has gone through several name changes and eight different grounds. In the 1920s and 1930s, they were really a force to be reckoned with and, although never a league side, long cup runs and crowds of several thousand supporters were not uncommon. They hold the distinction, along with Littlehampton FC, of having taken part in the longest penalty shoot out in a senior cup match in Europe – 40 spot kicks were needed before Tunbridge Wells were triumphant! The present club rose from the ashes of the side that folded in 1966.

There are a couple of golf clubs in or near to Tunbridge Wells, the Nevill golf club was formed in 1914, just before the outbreak of the first world war. Despite that, it survived and flourished. The Tunbridge Wells golf club run a 9 hole course that is highly rated. It doesn’t compare to the 18 hole courses of course but it receives good reviews from visiting players.

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Monson Swimming Club is a successful competitive club that was founded in 1901. They are based at the sports centre but hold regular training sessions at nearby Tonbridge in the Tonbridge School pool. Their name, Monson, originates from the original swimming baths in the town. One of the notable achievements was made in 1966 when the youngest ever team of swimmers crossed the channel. They have always been an active force in swimming in the Home Counties and that dynamism continues to the present day. The club has produced a number of national champions plus olympic and paralympic competitors.

The Squash club was formed in the mid 1930s and was soon closed down for the duration of the second world war. The courts were used for storage of supplies. It re-opened in 1947 and has remained open ever since. There are 3 courts with an online booking system.

The origins of the Rugby club can be traced back to more or less the same time as the squash club, however, it wasn’t until 1970 that it was opened to anyone other than the ‘Old Boys’ of the Skinners School. The club plays Rugby Union and fields several teams. Famous alumni of the club include two England players, Colin Smart and Martin Corry.

There are plenty of smaller sports clubs in the town encompassing a wide variety of other sports – cycling, martial arts, tennis, badminton and more. If you are a sporty type looking to live in the area, there is almost sure to be something for you!