Mini multi-sports, football, netball, tennis, padel… Rocks Lane Centre Chiswick gives everyone the chance to learn, play, compete and have fun
It is almost 20 years since the Rocks Lane Multi Sports Centre took over the land formerly occupied by neglected tennis courts on Chiswick Common. In that time, the venue has become home to an enthusiastic sporting community of children and adults of all ages, abilities and playing levels. ‘We’re very proud that Rocks Lane Chiswick is an all-inclusive facility and that we’re able to offer such an extensive programme,’ says Barry Murray, the Centre Manager.
Since opening in 2005, the site has been completely transformed: there are now seven 3G multi-use floodlit courts and pitches as well as six outdoor and four covered padel courts. That means that five-a-side football, netball, tennis, padel, Mini multi-sports and pickleball can be played all year round (all the pitches and courts are available to hire via the Playtomic app).
For many families, the highlight of the weekly schedule, which includes school bookings, coaching, social and competitive play and corporate events, 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.’
Three nights a week, the Centre hosts the Jumpers for Goalposts adult football leagues and the junior football programme starts with children aged 3+. Team training is for those who want to represent Rocks Lane FC in county league matches and players are selected from age six to under 16. Initially, they play in development games and then progress to competitive formats.
Chiswick is also the base for London’s biggest Padel Centre. Padel is one of the UK’s fastest growing sports and Chris Dolphin, the Head of Padel, has been organising popular social sessions for over a year.
‘Players are matched according to their past experience with padel and other racquet sports,’ he explains. ‘This allows for a high, medium and lower skill bracket, so players can compete at a similar skill level and pace. The socials are huge fun and, as a result, the popularity of the game is growing dramatically.’ The Padel Academy programme provides competitive opportunities for players of all ages and it includes Rocks Lane team events, LTA tournaments and tournament-level training squads with World Padel Tour coaches.
At Rocks Lane Chiswick, development begins very early, with the Soft Play Arena in the clubhouse designed specifically for toddlers to explore and climb in a safe environment. Then, Mini multi-sports is an important part of the programme for children aged two and a half to five, enabling them to develop a healthy, positive association with sport.
‘The aim of everyone on our experienced team of coaches and staff is to maximise the opportunities to play sport, boost participation among juniors and adults and support those who wish to further their ambitions,’ says Barry. ‘In particular, children are given the chance to enjoy a variety of sports in fun-filled, structured coaching sessions and to then progress to the next level and become team players. In turn, that builds self-confidence and teaches key life skills that reach far beyond the football pitch or netball, tennis or padel court.’
Rocks Lane Multi Sports Centre Chiswick
020 8994 1313