Sport in Southampton
With its wide array of fitness and activity centres, Southampton is an excellent place where visitors can maintain their health regimen even if they’re on the road.
In Southampton, there’s no reason for you to get out of shape on your holiday. Whether you enjoy playing golf, football or some other sport, Southampton has the right place for you.
Like the seasons, sports have a time and place of their own in Southampton.
When winter comes, skiing is the order of the day and the Southampton Ski Centre in Bassett is the place to be. This modern, state-of-the-art facility is the leading venue for skiing and snowboarding on the south coast. It caters to skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Why, there’s even a ski school on the premises where the novice can learn a thing or two. There are many courses and tutorials that cater to beginners and experienced skaters alike.
Spring means it’s time to hit your local pool and show off your freestyle, backstroke or butterfly stroke. Not much of a swimmer? Then it’s off to the waterslides for you for an entire day of fun and frolic. The preferred venue for this kind of fan is the Tower Park in Poole, with its amazing swimming pools and huge splash slides.
When summer rolls around, you know it’s time to shake off that rust on your golf swing. Bring your partner or your buddies for a round of golf at the Southampton Golf Course in Basset, one of the best golf courses around. They boast of a full 18-hole course and a smaller nine-hole course. Golf clubs are available for rent. There are regular sessions throughout the week that provide tutorials for new golfers. Of course, it’s not all about hitting the ball on the green. The Southampton Golf Course also has a fabulous clubhouse and a licensed bar to help you top off a great day of golf.
Finally, in autumn, there’s nothing like a high impact sport to end those post-summer blues. The St. Mary’s Leisure Centre has excellent facilities for squash and tennis as well as aerobics classes, martial arts classes and a climbing wall.
Of course, if there’s one sport that’s popular in Southampton all year round, it has to be football. The city has no less than seven leisure centres with their own football field aside from a range of other health-inducing activities. In Southampton, it’s not a problem to sign up at a local five-a-side league or 11-a-side pitches.
The Chamberlayne Leisure Centre [map] on Weston Lane is a popular venue for five-a-side games and football training. But try to find out the schedule of games beforehand as the main hall, the venue for football, is used for a broad range of athletic and leisure activities.
For indoor football games, two other popular venues in the city are the erne Leisure Centre and St Mary's Leisure centre.
On the other hand, there are only a handful of facilities that provide outdoor facilities in the area, and the Southampton Sports Centre in Bassett is one of the best. There are several synthetic outdoor pitches here that are open to the public and which can be floodlit at night.
Other famous names at the club include Peter Shilton (who was goalkeeper for England for a number of years), , who, and
A number of the club’s managers are also held in high regard in the city, such as Gordon Strachan and Scottish hero Graeme Souness. You can also add the team’s current manager and former Plymouth manager, Harry Redknapp, to the list.
Meanwhile, if watching top-rate football is your idea of a great vacation, try to get a ticket to see the local team. The Saints, also known as the Southampton FC, the biggest local team in the city. The Saints play their home games at St. Mary's Stadium, and the place is always rocking when a game is on as the locals are not shy about showing their avid support.
Many popular Saints players occupy a revered place in the hearts of Southampton fans. These include Matthew le Tissier. The former captain of England’s under 21 team Alan Shearer, and England’s very capable goalkeeper in international competitions for many years, Peter Shilton.
The Saints have been around since the 19th century and, although they have not been one of the most successful clubs in the UK, fan support for the team has never wavered since those early days.
Established in 1885, the Southampton FC was a member of the Southern League starting in 1894, winning its championship on six separate occasions. They won three in a row from 1897 to 1899 and another tree in 1901, 1903 and 1904.
After World War I, when many other football clubs had been disbanded, The Saints continued to compete, joining a new league, the Football League Division Three, in 1920. The team flirted with promotion on several occasions,
The highlight of the club’s history came in 1976, when its second division side won the FA Cup via a 1-0 victory over favoured Manchester United.
The Saints gained promotion in 1978. In 1979, the team would make it to the League Cup Final, losing to Nottingham Forest, 3-2.