On a sunny Saturday, 13 July 2019, hundreds of residents turned out to join the festivities as the Tottenham Community Sports Centre in the High Road turned 50-years-old.
One of the first sports centres in London has gone from strength to strength and is now looking forward to the next 50 years.
To commemorate its birthday the centre organised a free fun day for the local community featuring: dozens of stalls and children’s rides, demonstrations from the many sports clubs that use the facilities, a music stage, an exotic animal enclosure, and the appearance of special guests including former Tottenham and England footballer, Ledley King.
“This place creates lots of opportunities for people to better themselves,” he said. “I grew up in east London and there weren’t many sports centres around and just through boredom kids can make bad decisions. But a sports centre can allow youngsters to thrive and the people here can help take them along a whole new path and help them do something good with their lives.”
Over its five decades thousands of Tottenham residents have passed through its doors and some of its first users are now grandparents who bring their grandchildren to some of the 90-plus different sports clubs found within its bounds.
Malcolm Springthorpe, chair of the trustees, was one of the small group of people to have founded the centre all those years ago, along with Kevin Lincoln, the centre’s secretary. Both were proudly present for the 50th anniversary.
“Today is a dream come true,” said Malcolm. “And the most important thing is the amount of people who have benefitted from what we’ve done here. No-one is afraid of walking in and being turned away and we’ve always tried to keep our prices low because we believe in equal opportunity – especially for youngsters.”
“It’s the culmination of blood, sweat and tears!” added Kevin. “I think this place is hugely important to the community because we listen to what people want and have provided facilities and sessions for them accordingly. We’re both very passionate about the fact we’re serving the local community and that we’re run by volunteers. We are totally self-supporting, don’t have any funding and still manage to keep fees down.”
One of the centre’s biggest success stories is its boxing club which has helped train many well-known fighters and was the venue where Nicola Adams trained prior to her heroics at the 2012 London Olympics.
“Myself and my three children aged five, eight and 12 train here,” said Syreeta King. “The boxing coaches are brilliant and we can all train together in a safe environment. They are so welcoming and it really does feel like one family. Sometimes money can be an issue but it only costs a few pounds. I feel very lucky to have this place on my doorstep.”
“I was a part of the centre right from the beginning,” said Cllr Sheila Peacock, the Mayor of Haringey. “And I still come to play Bingo on Tuesday nights! You can come here anytime of the week, and anytime time of the day and there are groups and clubs for you to take part in. It’s an absolutely brilliant place.”
See all the photos from the celebrations here. (External Link).
If you are would like more details of the many clubs at the centre email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8801 6401.