Helene and Nas
Mini multi-sports, football, netball, tennis and soon… padel! Rocks Lane Centre Barnes gives all ages the opportunity to learn, play and have fun
‘When they were young many members of our team used to come here to play, compete and be coached,’ says Helene Dann, Centre Manager at Rocks Lane Multi Sports Centre in Barnes. ‘Over the years, it’s been lovely to see them grow up with us and now they are proud to coach, inspire and ignite a passion for sport in others.’
Established over 30 years ago and the first in the family of multi sports centres that also includes Rocks Lane Chiswick and Bishops Park Tennis Centre Fulham, Rocks Lane Barnes is an inclusive facility for social and competitive play, coaching, school sports and corporate events. Helene herself has long been a familiar face at the Centre. Having brought her children along for tennis coaching – that was 25 years ago – she worked in the office for 15 years before becoming the Manager.
Seven days a week Rocks Lane Barnes organises a packed programme of mini multi-sports and tennis, netball and football coaching for all ages, from early years to juniors and adults. And, most excitingly, there will be a new addition in 2024 with the introduction of the increasingly popular racquet sport of padel.
‘Our Chiswick Centre is already home to a successful Padel Academy,’ explains Chris Warren, Rocks Lane founder, UK Over 50s Padel No.1 and a Great Britain team member.
‘Padel is one of the UK’s fastest growing and most fun to learn sports. We’re delighted to be bringing it to Barnes and the wider community and we’ll be offering expert coaching, academy training, tournaments for juniors and adults and social events.’
For many families, the highlight of the weekly schedule at Barnes are the Friday Night 5s junior football and netball leagues. ‘The children really enjoy their Fridays after school,’ says Tim Simmons, the father of Iris, a keen 5s player. ‘They love competing with kids their age and really feel like they own their teams.’
Nas Lagraa, the Head of Football, played at the Centre from a young age. ‘We work hard to create a friendly environment in which every boy and girl feels equally valued, supported and challenged,’ he says.
‘Our footballers have plenty of opportunities to progress to the next level through structured coaching sessions and by representing Rocks Lane FC in county league matches. Also, as coaches, we have high expectations of the players: we believe that the core values of commitment, resilience and respect that they learn on the pitch will also stand them in good stead later in life.’
Mini-multi sports and mini-football sessions have always been the foundation of the Centre’s growth, enabling even the youngest participants to develop a positive association with sport. In addition, the Rocks Lane team hosts sports-themed parties. ‘A huge thank you to the coaches for making my son’s football party such good fun – he loved it,’ says Alice Burnett. ‘Overall, a lovely experience.’
‘The aim of our coaching team is to maximise the opportunities to play sport, boost participation and support those who wish to further their ambitions,’ says Helene.
‘Everyone is welcome to come along and play socially or competitively and, of course, we look forward to Rocks Lane Padel joining our sports programme.’
Rocks Lane Multi Sports Centre Barnes
020 8876 8330