• Olympic sports profile: Handball

    Posted in sport on June 27, 2012

    As we race past yet another landmark in the countdown to London 2012 (this time the 30 days to go point) we thought we’d start to look at some of the slightly alternative Olympic sports. First up…handball. We hope that once you’ve finished reading you will be able to count yourself as an expert in this great team sport (it should also come in handy for all that Olympic small talk!).

    Team GB in action

    Although relatively new to these shores, handball can trace its ancestry back as far as medieval France, as well as being popular among the early Inuits in Greenland. The sport started to grow into a fully-fledged, codified sport in Scandanavia and Eastern Europe during the 19th century, with the first official rules being written down by a Danish school teacher in 1906.

    Playing on a pitch similar to that of an indoor football pitch, the rules are quite easy to grasp; the aim of the game is to throw the ball (around two thirds the size of a football) into the opponent’s net without standing in their ‘D’.  Each team contains 6 outfield players and a goalkeeper, with players able to carry the ball for 3 steps, and then allowed a further 3 steps when they dribble the ball (a lá the basketball dribble). Players can pass to each other, and contact is allowed during a tackle, as long as it’s a front-on hit. For a quick taster of what to expect in London, here’s some of the great goals from 2012 so far:

    The game is incredibly fast paced and has become noticeably faster in recent years with the quick counter-attack becoming more prevalent. The pace is particularly fast and furious during the transition from defense to attack and feels more like a basketball match than the combination of football and rugby that you might expect. Each team has up to 7 substitutes for 2 halves of 30 minutes, which gives some indication about just how tiring it can be (and how good the sport is for keeping in shape).

    The other great thing about handball is the simplicity of equipment required; all that is needed to start a game is 2 goals, a ‘D’ and a ball. Although the sport is still in its infancy in the UK, there are a number of teams that you can join. For more info head to England Handball’s website. The GB Handball Association is hoping to see a significant legacy affect, so if you like what you see make sure you go and try it out!

    Warning: Playing Handball can lead to unintentional facial expressions.

    The two GB teams will go into the Olympic tournament as underdogs after a slightly disappointing run of form leading into the Games. The women’s team, whose squad was announced last week, have shown plenty promise with a win against the African champions, Angola, in April. However, the men’s team face an uphill task as they come up against a number of countries where they have professional associations, but home support and their incredible dedication is likely to see them to do better than expected.

    Many of the men’s and women’s squads have made huge sacrifices just to be in with a chance of competing at the Games. Louise Jukes  story of selling her house and giving up her job 5 years ago to fulfil her dream of Olympic participation is one of many that stands out. The first Handball games start on the 28th July and go right through to the penultimate day of the games. Hopefully this has whet your appetite for Handball at the Olympics…stay tuned for the next Olympic sport profile coming soon!


  • Our favourite sports videos: episode 1

    Posted in sport on June 20, 2012

    Everyone loves internet sports videos and we’re no different here at upmysport so here are a collection of great sports videos that either made us laugh, cry or a little bit of both!

    This video of the epic battle for 4th (!) is a youtube classic and is a real testament to the two athletes’ will to win. Both ended up crawling to the finish line when they could easily have given up and received the medical treatment they so obviously needed, Sian Welch and Wendy Ingram we salute you!

    For sheer ridiculousness this absolute monster putt brought a smile to our faces. When perhaps a long iron might be more appropriate, Deve Pelz gauges his 200 foot putt just right and sinks it for a well-made Albatross 3. Holing 100+ feet putts is probably not a strategy to  regularly rely on!

    We’re not quite sure why we like this video so much but we certainly aren’t alone with it having over a sixteen million views since this 12 year old ball boy made the catch of his life. Simple but brilliant.


    Roger Federer playing tennis is usually very easy on the eye but this collection of his ‘tweener’ shots takes it to another level! Not to be tried at home without suitable care!

    This one is from the upmysport archives and is a reverse how to… How not to jump a kicker on skis.. no more words required!



  • Recovering from a triathlon…

    Posted in sport on June 8, 2012

    With the triathlon season well underway and one of the big meets of the year happening this weekend at Blenheim palace, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at endurance event recovery. So, with the help of Chris Hines, one of our instructors who specialises in  rehab and recovery, we explore his tops tips to quickly and safely recover from this punishing multi-sport event.

    Unfortunately Chris doesn't recommend celebrating like Chrissie Wellington!

    Nutrition and hydration

    Obviously a huge part of recovering from exercise is what you put into to your body to replace what you lost. Chris advises, “you need to drink 1.5 litres of water for every kg of bodyweight you lost during the race. Make sure you add a little pinch of salt into the water so your body absorbs it.”

    Eating well is also crucial, and the sooner the better, “restore your muscle and liver glycogen stores ASAP. This restoration is at its optimum during the first hour post exercise, so use liquid then solid meals containing protein and carbohydrate.”

    An ‘active revovery’

    After the huge exertion of a triathlon the last thing you might want to do is more exercise, but Chris says this it can really help. “Research shows that athletes who do an active recovery, report less muscle soreness and improved performance compared to athletes who do a passive recovery. This can be anything from a light walk with the dog, or a gentle 20 minute light bike ride or jog. Some stretching and a massage would also be a good idea as part of this active recovery.”

    Cold water immersion (CWI) or the dreaded ‘ice bath’

    Another thing that may well be low down on your list of priorities would be to sit in a cold bath, but Chris is quick to point out the benefits of the ‘in vogue’ ice bath: “CWI is useful for drawing blood out of the extremities and back to the core. This helps to remove waste and toxins from the working muscles. When you take a warm shower, or simply get out of the cold water and warm up, you will have an increased blood flow back to the extremities, which carries fresh blood and oxygen back to the muscles to aid recovery.”

    “There are some misconceptions around ice baths, or what is otherwise known as cold water immersion (CWI). You do not have to throw 10kg of ice into a bath of water and sit there for 10 minutes shivering in pain to benefit from CWI. The water temperature only needs to be cold (10-12 degrees).”

    Ice baths don't need to be that bad...


    It may seem a simple point but chris is keen to highlight  just how important sleep is during the recovery process. “Sleep has an amazing restorative and regenerative process on the body. We know that certain hormones are released during sleep such as growth hormone, testosterone and melatonin, and that these hormones run the bodies repair processes. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine, both of which will negatively affect the quality of your sleep ”

    Thanks a lot to Chris for his expert input, you can find his private listing here and his group bootcamp here. We hope you find that useful, and it makes waking up after a beast of a triathlon just that little bit less painful.

    As ever it would be great to hear your own top tips for improving post-endurance event recovery.

  • In the Sportlight: Julz Adeniran From Law Grad to London 2012

    Posted in sport on June 1, 2012

    After graduating from Birmingham last year Julz has become a full time athlete and is hoping to go to London 2012 as part of the athletics squad. After a great start to the season Julz is very much on track to realise that dream. We caught up with him to find out how he got there…


    We saw that you were a Law graduate from the University of Birmingham. Why did you decide to become a full time athlete?

    In truth I stumbled upon hurdling and only realised my talent for the event at the relatively late age of 17, so really I always had prior intentions of leaving school to go to University. Even so, when the opportunity arose to pursue my hobby as a vocation and become a professional athlete it was of course a big draw and a dream that I was definitely going to chase. However I wanted to get a strong degree in my back pocket first, before throwing myself into a sporting career as these are often short lived, very fickle and athletics isn’t the most lucrative of sports.

    How did you get into Hurdling?

    I competed in a variety of athletics events throughout my school days but it wasn’t until I was spotted running at a schools fixture in Bromsgrove in 2004, that I considered focusing on hurdling. A timekeeper at the meet planted the idea, having just seen me go down the sprint hurdles, filling-in for an injured teammate. He suggested I try-out for the English Schools Championships, twelve months later I would go on to win my first English Schools national title, rank number 1 in the UK for my age-group and earn my first international call-up.

    Sport you are best at?

    From a young age it was noted that I have natural speed and good spring, so I guess the hurdles event was just waiting to be found; but I always fancied myself as a bit of a Doug Howlett on the rugby pitch and I also played hockey (striker) at county level and football (midfielder) at regional level.

    Sport you could never get the hang of…

    Cricket… without wanting to sound scathing, I’ve always thought of it as a game that at best could be described as a mildly improved version of Pong. I could never use my speed to great effect in this sport. Oh and I could never get used to drawing with the opposition so often either, I mean what’s with that!

    Not a fan of leather on willow...

    Sports that you miss now you are an elite athlete?

    I do miss team sports at times. I enjoyed seven years of national school level rugby with the same core group of guys, I learnt a lot from this and I look back on it fondly.

    Which sport do you want to try but haven’t got round to?

    I always marveled at the athleticism in NFL American Football and wanted to have a go. I’m also a big boxing fan and would love to lace up a pair of gloves sometime. But it looks like I’ll have to wait until my late 30s before I get a chance as athletics is very much an all or nothing lifestyle, everyday for 48 weeks of the year – my uncle bought me a set of golf clubs for my 18th birthday and they’re still in the plastic wrapping!

    What would you say to someone wanting to be more active but not sure where to start?

    My advice would be to simply ‘have a go’ and give a new sport a try, a less conventional sport perhaps. Also, try and drag a buddy along to add a social aspect to it, it’s great to have someone alongside you to encourage you (and make sure you keep attending!).

    Best bit of coaching advice received?

    “What the mind can conceive and heart can believe, the body can achieve.” – my coach.

    Julz in full flow during training

    Any pre-race superstitions or rituals?

    Not really, I try not to rely on having to have/do something in order for me to feel like I’m able to run well. But I do have a set preparation and warm-up routine; I also listen to the same pre-race playlist, have a preferred sports drink for race days and I like to keep to the same choreography for my victory dance (ok so that last one’s a lie – it varies).

    Sporting Hero?

    I don’t have any heroes as such, but I certainly look up to accomplished people both in and out of the sporting word. Especially how they’ve gone about getting to where they are, people like Roger Federer, Michael Johnson, Floyd Mayweather and Sean Combs.

    How are preparations for London 2012 going?

    As well as I could hope for, I had a very good Indoor season earlier this year; recording five Personal best times in as many competitions, picking up a Bronze medal at the UK Indoor Championships and improving to a UK top 4 ranking. This should hold me in good stead for the upcoming Outdoor season. I’m now just searching for sponsorship from small businesses to help me fund the requisite full-time training necessary for me to be able to compete with the best in the world.

    What’s the plan between now and the games?

    The plan is to treat the run up to the Games as I would any other year, not doing anything drastically different or introducing anything new at this stage.  I’m taking it one race at a time, listening to my coach and trying to stay fit & healthy. This year’s Olympic Games is part of a longer term plan for me, one that will hopefully see me compete for Gold at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and at the London 2017 World Athletics Championships.


    Julz in action for the GB U20 team

     If you do make the squad do you think being the home nation is an advantage or a bit of a burden?

    I think it’s important to focus on the positives, and a home crowd roaring you on is always going to be advantageous no matter the sport. It’s a great opportunity and a unique experience to compete at a home Olympics and therefore I tend to think: ‘what better reason to outperform myself.’

    When’s the big decision and how can we follow your progress ?

    1st July is the selection date, follow me on twitter @JulzAdeniran and check out my regularly updated BLOG on my website: www.julzadeniran.com.

    And finally… We currently cover golf, tennis and personal training, Which sport do you think we should do next and why?

    Running groups – running is a convenient and cost effective way of staying active, but it’s more fun and safer if you’re running with a group… plus no-one wants to look like one of the uber keen guys from the 118 advert!

    Thanks a lot to Julz for that great insight into the world of an elite athlete, and we think running groups sound like  a great idea! Julz is currently self-funded so is always on the lookout for sponsorship to help him reach his goal of competing at major meets for Great Britain. If you can help more information can be found at his website: www.julzadeniran.com.

  • Jubilee sport in the capital..

    Posted in sport on

    Here at upmysport HQ we are very excited about celebrating the Queen’s jubilee this weekend. However the increased number of people out and about in the capital may make it a little harder than usual to play sport. So this week we look at some of the less known spots around London. With a bit of luck this should mean you can go on a run without stepping in someone’s picnic..

    Her Majesty has always been a big supporter of sport

    South London’s St.Tropez: Brockwell Park lido

    Nicknamed Brixton beach by locals, Brockwell Park lido is surrounded by stunning Grade II listed buildings which really take you back to times gone by (great for a Jubilee-based reminisce!). It’s early season so likely to still be quite nippy but that should keep the crowds down, and with the sun still likely to be here, it’s definitely worth a visit.  Adult passes are available for £5.65, and nearest stations are Brixton (10 minute walk) or Herne Hill (5 minute walk).

    Brockwell Park Lido looking resplendent in the sunshine (©N Gentilli)

    Escape the city: Thames bike ride from Kingston, Surrey

    The first of our two suggested bike routes is for those looking to head away from the crowds and find a bit of peace before heading back for a Jubilee party. Starting at Kingston Station you follow the meander of the Thames and quickly take in Hampton Court and the surrounding gardens. Continuing along the follow the river you get further and further out of the hustle and bustle and should avoid any traffic for large chunks of the route. Look out for cycle route 4 to keep you on the right track and head past Shepperton and either take the ferry towards Staines if you’ve hit the wall or continue along cycle route 4 to finish your journey on the bike. Total: 18 miles (one way), Mix of road/good quality stone path. The full route can be found here.

    Chelsea’s secret garden: Eel Brook common, South West London

    Nestled in amongst Fulham Broadway and Parsons Green underground station, Eel Brook common is a veritable oasis offering some great open, green space. Ideal, then for any park based fitness activity (with our own Tom Kelly offering weekly bootcamps).  There is certainly plenty of room for a large group game of cricket or touch rugby, and with the action of the Jubilee likely to be going on further up the Thames, there should be plenty of room. The park also has 2 adjoining tennis courts where Fabrice Mary teaches out of.

    London’s oldest recreational park: Victoria Park, East London

    Located in North East London, Victoria Park is no longer a well-kept secret (was it ever?!) but given the sheer size of it is unlikely to ever feel busy.  It’s also one of the most sports-centric parks across all of London and boasts a considerable amount facilities: 8 football winter league pitches 4 football summer league pitches, a rugby pitch, 3 artificial cricket wickets, 3 cricket practice nets, a bowling green and 4 tennis courts. All are bookable by calling 0207 364 5000.  The nearest station is Hackney Wick (5 minutes walk) or Bethnal Green (10 minutes walk).

    Victoria Park looking very peaceful

    ‘Streatham’s best kept secret': Woodfield Grove Tennis Club

    Our Tennis Coach Justin Pimm calls it Streatham’s best kept secret but we don’t think it will be for long. The tennis club allows non-members to get coached and is located a short walk from Streatham Hill station and within striking distance from Clapham Common. A real community-based tennis club, Woodfield Grove was set up just over a year before Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1924. (Nice Jubilee-based stat!).

    Cycle the City, Central London

    In stark contrast to our earlier suggestion this route takes in much more of central London, which should hopefully allow you to take in some of the Jubillee atmosphere while still cycling on proper cycle paths. Starting out at Grenwhich park footbridge, your journey will avoid conjested roads and takes in the Isle of Dogs, Victoria park and the Hackney Marshes. Finishing at Totenham Hale station you can either get a train home, or turn round and do it all again! More information can be found here.

    The Jubilee Flotilla should just about be viewable

    London’s only Stainless Steel open water pool(!): Parliament Hill Lido, North London

    The second of our Lido suggestions is also in the shadows of Grade II listed buidlings to keep you in the Jubilee mood.  Parliament Hill Lido has particularly large dimensions at 28m x 60m which makes it ideal for any triathletes or long distance swimmers training for upcoming events. Open from 7am-9am & 10am-6pm daily. Early morning session £2 and midday sessions £5.50. Nearest station Gospel Oak (2 minutes walk) and Tuffnell Park (7 minute walk).

    Tube stop to first tee in under 12 minutes: Wyke Green Golf Club, Osterly

    Wyke Green golf club near Osterly offers fantastic tree lined fairways within a woodland setting. Somewhat surprisingly, given its length and amazing fauna the course can be reached from Earl’s Court in just over half an hour. The generous fairways make it an ideal spot for the mid to high handicapper to gain confidence and work on key areas before moving towards more challenging courses. A round for non-members over the bank holiday will cost £36 (tee times available after 1pm) and it’s recommended that you ring ahead to confirm availability. More info can be found on their website here.

    Well, that concludes our look at some of the great locations to play sport in London this long bank holiday weekend. We would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below. All that is left to say is that we hope you have a great bank holiday whatever you end up doing!


  • Our favourite tech in sport: Apps.

    Posted in sport on May 25, 2012

    Technology and sport have long been intertwined, particularly for elite athletes looking to add that critical extra 1% to their performance. Ranging from a new swimsuit design that improved glide through the water or a lighter running shoe to knock 1/10’s of a second off personal bests. More recently there has been a move to use technology to help every type of sportsman or woman, whether you are just starting a new sport or would like to get the next level at an existing one.

    Andy Murray (probably) Listening to himself..

    With a huge array of sports and fitness apps, training aids and High tech equipment and sportswear now available, it can be quite hard to work out which ones work and which ones don’t. The upmysport team need all the help they can get to improve at sport so have quite a lot of experience with some good, bad and ugly sporting technology. Here’s a selection of the team’s favourite bits of tech that have helped them get better at sport:

    Adidas Micoach: There are a multitude of similar apps for mapping exercise on your smartphone but we have found micoach to be the most intuitive and flexible offering. Adidas have worked really hard to produce an app that supports a number of fitness disciplines including running, cycling, and sports such as tennis and basketball. What really makes the app work for us is the ability to create custom schedules based on your current weight/height etc., enter you aims and objectives, as well as how long you have to achieve them. Due to Adidas’ pulling power you also get to be cajoled on by sports stars like Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis. Free on all platforms.

     NPT boom by Nike: We think music is an essential part of any workout. Nike’s boom app can make sure your music selection perfectly fits your activity. The app basically provides a soundtrack to your workout and reacts in real time to the intensity of your activity using GPS. So if you’re on a gentle jog, you’ll be listening to coldplay but if you’re off sprint cycling then you’re likely to be hearing plenty of trance!   Free on all platforms.

    Lose it: Half of the challenge in getting fit is ensuring you have a good diet. This app helps to make sure this is exactly what you do. It will record what you’re eating (which can sometimes be a little laborious but it’s worth sticking with it) and suggest improvements, and allows you to track your progress, all of which sets this app apart from others. It is surprisingly fascinating to look at your intake of food, and you might be quite shocked by what you find out…we were! (who knew nuts had so many calories but contain ‘good fat’). £0.59 on iphone.

    Ski Tracks: This one, as the title suggests, is one for all the skiers out there (we know it’s a slightly out of season suggestion, although Nicola is heading skiing this weekend…). Ski tracks is a great little app that measures your progress throughout your day and gives you data like average speed, metres climbed, and time on the lift. As with the ‘lose it’ app you will be surprised by what you find; often your own estimates will be nothing like what you’ve actually done. It can be a bit of a battery drain particularly when it’s very cold, so keep an eye on your power levels. 1.69 on Android and iPhone.

    Our next instalment of ‘Our favourite tech in sport’ will feature training aids and we’ll be asking some of our coaches what has really worked for them, so stay tuned!

  • Triathlons coming up this Summer

    Posted in health and fitness on May 11, 2012

    Triathlons have seen enormous growth in both popularity and availability during the last decade, which has been great to see. This year’s line-up of events looks better than ever, so we thought we would take a look at some of the best ones happening in and around London.  With there now being so many types of triathlon to participate in, you will be able to find one that suits you no matter your age, fitness or ability (so no more excuses!).

    Blenheim Palace – 9th and 10th June

    The Bleheim Triathlon has always managed to attract marquee participants to its elite level race, with Jenson Button posting a very impressive time in last year’s event. This year is no different with the Palace managing to secure the Brownlee brothers and Helen Jenkins as competitors in the elite race. The circuit itself certainly makes the most of the amazing setting with the swim in the Palace’s lake, the transition area in the royal courtyard, and the run and cycle taking in much of the sprawling manicured gardens that Blenheim is famed for. Competition takes place over two days and there are different lengths and relay options available. Hurry though, as today is the last day to get your ticket! Here’s their website for more info.

    The Blenheim route

    London Triathlon – 22nd and 23rd September

    The London Triathlon takes in lots of the famous sites that dominate the city’s skyline with the main action happening in the docklands stretch of the Thames. The event usually attracts large crowds so if you like to have people cheering you when you are struggling to finish that final 100m run this could be the event for you! There are lots of different entry options available including a seniors option and a relay event if you would prefer to do it with friends, so there should be something for everyone! The date also means there is still plenty of time to sign up and get into shape, plus the Thames will be at its warmest (NB still v.cold!). For more info head over to their website.

    Shock absorber women-only Tri – 10th June

    If you would prefer to participate in a triathlon in a ‘girls all in it together’ kind of environment at the Olympic sailing event location then look no further. The Shock Absorber event on the 10th June offers 4 options; the novice, sprint and challenge plus a relay option. Prices start at £62 and the closing date for entries is on the 4th June. The event offers a very flat run and cycle plus calm water for the swim, which should make it ideal if you are still finding your feet in the triathlon world. For more info please go to the human race website.

    Chantilly Triathlon – 26th August

    The Chantilly triathlon, as you would expect from the name, located slightly further a field just outside of Paris (map). This is part of the Castle Triathlon series which turns some of the UK and Europe’s finest historical buildings into great triathlon locations for the weekend. More suited to the more proficient triathlete, prices start at £50 for adults but there are obviously other logistical costs to take into consideration. The views, beautiful gardens and amazing architecture will really make this a sports event to remember and *almost* take your mind off the pain your are in! There are a huge number of options for taking part, including a family event with 2 adults and 2/3 children making up a team, which could be a great way to get the kids into a great sport at an early age! For more info here is the Castle Tri Series website.

    Honourable mentions

    Jenny Clark Try a Tri – 17th June: Catering exclusively for the novice and first-time triathlete. More info here.

    The Olympics triathlon event – 4th and 7th August: We couldn’t finish without mentioning the big triathlon event of the year, where GB are in a good position to win at least a couple of medals. There are just over 80 days to go and we are already very excited!

    We also thought you might enjoy this video which made us laugh, and will hopefully be recognisable to anyone who has had friends/relatives who have become slightly obsessed with triathlons…

  • Being a lefty…

    Posted in golf on May 3, 2012

    In recent weeks Barack Obama’s left handedness, Bubba and a large scientific study on the use of the left hand have thrown the issue back in to the spotlight (featured in Gizmodo and The Week) so we asked our resident left handed golfer, Alex, to give us his thoughts…

    A left-handed golfer is a surprisingly rare beast. Surprising because while over 10% of the world’s population are lefties, out on the course there is nothing like this proportion. There are a number of obvious reasons for this; most equipment, tuition and golfing imagery is dominated by right-handed players. Some left handed writers also feel more comfortable playing right handed because they feel more comfortable with the ball leaving them from the left hand side of their body (stay with me!).

    The main one though according to a recent survey is that in sports where there is no discernible advantage for people to be different (i.e. being left handed) there is always a disproportionately low amount of lefties. Whereas, in sports where being the ‘opposite’ way round could be an advantage, left handers are far more prevalent (see boxing, fencing and cricket among others).  The study also suggested that the reason for there being only 10% percent of the total population that are left handed because humans are cooperative species and it’s beneficial for sharing tools etc – but we will spare you the full anthropological lesson!

    The lesser-spotted left handed club

    I’m right handed and right footed in everything but golf and cricket and while being left handed at cricket was never a problem (it was actually a benefit), being a lefty at golf was always troublesome. During my first week at secondary school I had my first proper tuition. It being my first week I didn’t want to rock the boat by asking for the ‘rare’ left handed clubs so I just tried to grin and bear it with right handed clubs. I thought that maybe I could convert myself and it would be a lot easier for everyone! It didn’t go well… after a term of  some woeful right handed golf  I eventually spoke up and managed to get some old left handed clubs out of the back room. The sense of relief was palpable! I was reminded why I had got into golf in the first place.

    As I have continued my golf development being a lefty has continued to be fraught with annoyances. I could never borrow someone’s clubs or easily hire a set. Once I got a car it forced me to carry my clubs with me wherever I went so I wouldn’t miss out on a spontaneous round. Walking into most pro shops should be a real treat but there is still a noticeable lack of provision for us lefties. Maybe it’s a conspiracy to keep us left handers down?! It is perhaps telling that only 4 left handed players have won a major in the history of the game. To end on more a positive note 3 of the 4 lefties  to be major champions have been active in the last decade, so maybe the tide is turning..? Mssrs. Weir, Mickelson and Watson you are my heroes!

    Bubba's unorthodoxy adds to the left handed golfer's mystique

    Any other left handers out there had similar problems? We’d love to hear your experiences…

  • Stay out of the wet and still play sport!

    Posted in sport on April 28, 2012

    We are all pretty sick of the ‘wettest drought on record’ joke here at upmysport HQ. Mainly because it is painfully true and has been making being active trickier than usual. So we thought we would put together a quick guide to some of the best spots for indoor sports around London, meaning you can still get your sporting fix without getting absolutely soaked for your troubles.


    Climbing at High Sport venues: Hackney, Brixton and Crystal Palace (and 20+ locations nationwide)

    If you’re into your rock climbing or have always been keen to try it out, High Sports venues offer great locations to do just that. They offer facilities for all levels of climber, whether it’s your first time or you’re tackling big overhangs. Prices are very reasonable and you can get change out of a £10 note for a days worth of climbing. They also offer monthly packages if you’re not so hopeful about the long term weather outlook. Check out their website for more info.

    Golf at Dukes Meadows driving range

    Dukes meadows is a great spot generally for any Londonders looking to play sport, with loads of great facilities for a range of sports.  Their undercover driving range is particularly good, with great views and decent sized bays. Instruction can also be sought from James Irons. Dukes Meadows can easily be reached by bus from both Hammersmith and Richmond.

    Dukes Meadows

    Ice Skating at Queens Ice Rink and Bowl, Bayswater

    If you’re looking for something slightly different to get your sporting fix, the Queens ice rink offers a great environment to try out Ice Skating, particularly fun for groups of friends, and surprisingly tiring. There is also an adjoining bowling alley to help work the upper body(!). To find out more info head here.

    Queens ice rink

    Multi sports at the Westway, Ladbroke Grove

    If you can’t quite decide what to do, the Westway offers a great spread of sports. Whether you want to play tennis, or any number of team sports, the Westway provides a host of great pitches. Situated close to Ladbroke Grove tube station it’s also really easy to get to and should provide a great spot to get over your weather induced blue! Find out more info at their website.

    Indoor fitness, all over London

    We are cheating slightly with this one but we still think it’s just generally a great thing to get into. There is a huge amount of choice all across London and we are lucky enough to have some great listings on the site. We’ve picked out Neil Laybourn as a stand out listing because he’s currently running a 50% off deal for 2 personal training sessions at his studio located in Covent Garden. Check that listing out here.


    Think we’ve missed anything? Please feel free to add your own favourite spots in our comment section.