Sport and leisure
We take our sport seriously in Nottingham, England’s official Home of Sport. Nottingham is a thriving, exciting and multicultural city, spilling over with sporting opportunities and success – which you can be a part of.
Nottingham has its fair share of superb grassroots facilities, outstanding leisure centres, an Olympic-sized pool, all manner of clubs, gyms, and societies to join, and professional coaching and competitions on offer.
If you’re into sport – whether it’s playing, coaching, or just watching – Nottingham has what you’re looking for.
Having been named Sport England’s first City of Football, it’s obvious that we take our football seriously here in Nottingham.
Our city is home to two of the most iconic football clubs in the world. On the banks of the River Trent you’ll find the City Ground, home of the Premier League’s Nottingham Forest FC, two-time European Cup winners and forever tied to the late, great Brian Clough.
Just a stone’s throw over the water, you’ll find Meadow Lane, the stomping ground of Notts County – the oldest professional football club in the world. Their famous black and white stripes were adopted by none other than Juventus – the giants of Italian football.
Along with the title of City of Football, Nottingham has also been awarded £1.6m of National Lottery funding to develop the game in the city, giving you access to more pitches, coaches and resources than ever before.
There’s hundreds of teams and leagues around the county. And that’s not forgetting NTU’s five men’s and four women’s football teams, intramural five-a-side and futsal scenes, too.
The stunning Trent Bridge is recognised throughout the world as one of the best stadiums in cricket, and it’s proved to be something of a lucky hunting ground for England in recent years – in 2015, for instance, when England reclaimed the Ashes here. It regularly attracts international matches and is undergoing an £8m investment to ensure it keeps its place at the top of the game.
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club – who count England internationals Stuart Broad and Alex Hales among their roster – play in the County Championship Division Two and serve up plenty of thrills and spills in the T20 Blast as the Notts Outlaws. It’s always a great evening out.
There’s plenty of local cricket teams around Nottingham too – particularly if you venture out into some of the glorious villages that surround the city. And don’t forget NTU Cricket!
As founder members of the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League, the decorated Nottingham Panthers are the top flight’s only continuous members. No fewer than 16 Panthers are enshrined in the British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Panthers play at the National Ice Arena – the first twin Olympic-sized ice rink in the UK. Over 5,000 fans regularly pack the stands for Panthers games, creating a scintillating atmosphere, and it’s also where our very own NTU side do battle in the Varsity series.
There’s also the chance to get involved with the Nottinghamshire Lions, the senior team of the Nottingham Ice Hockey Club or The Nottingham Mavericks, a team combining students from both of Nottingham's universities.
Whether you’re into the 15 or 13-a-side version of the game, it’s here and waiting for you. If Union is your thing, Nottingham Rugby – who count England greats Brian Moore, Rob Andrew and Tom Youngs among their former players – play in the RFU Championship, and are based at Lady Bay in the popular area of West Bridgford.
The Nottingham Outlaws are the city’s leading rugby league side, and have been going strong since 1999, when they were founded by players from Nottingham Crusaders and NTU. They compete in the Conference League South, and have academy, junior and women's teams too.
Both of the city’s rugby teams retain close links with NTU Rugby, with many of our players training and even competing with Nottingham Rugby and the Outlaws. Our own Head of Rugby – Neil Fowkes – is even a forwards coach with the Championship side. Our NTU Rugby Union club is among the top BUCS Rugby Union programmes in the UK.
The Nottingham Hoods are the local competing Basketball club, with two Men’s teams in the English National Basketball League (NBL). Their home games take place at the Jesse Boot Wildcats Arena, a £2 million multi-functional sports centre based just outside of the city centre. NTU Basketball work with the Nottingham Hoods to deliver first-class coaching, and we currently have 3 Men’s and 2 Women’s teams competing in BUCS.
It isn’t just ice hockey we get our skates on for at the National Ice Centre. Nottingham is renowned for its ice skating - as you’d expect from the home of Olympic and World champions Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean. There’s also a whole host of figure skating and ice dancing programmes backed by the National Ice Dancing Association to get involved with.
If fast and furious sports are more your thing, you won’t be disappointed here either. This is where the GB Short Track Speed Skating Squad have their home, including Elise Christie, 2016 European Championships gold medal winner. Watch skaters go head-to-head in thrilling knock-out races, or even learn to speed skate yourself for the ultimate adrenaline fix.
Nottingham is also home to a thriving skateboarding community with over a dozen skate parks - including Flo Skatepark, one of the UK’s largest indoor skate parks which is a 15-minute ride away from the city centre. It’s open to skaters of all levels and abilities, with regular sessions for beginners, over 30’s and women and girls’ only nights – it’s a park with an open and friendly vibe.
Nottingham isn’t shy when it comes to boxing talent. No doubt you’ll be familiar with Carl Froch – the former four-time super-middleweight world champion and Leigh Wood – the current WBA featherweight champion.
But Nottingham’s association with boxing reaches beyond world titles and headlines. There are numerous boxing clubs and gyms around the city, just waiting for you to get involved.
NTU also has its own boxing club, which welcomes everyone from novices to pros alike.
Our Clifton Sports Hub is the perfect spot to work on your game, off-course.
When you’re ready for a round, there are loads of glorious parkland courses around Nottinghamshire for you to take on, and don’t forget NTU Golf.
The Nottingham Tennis Centre boasts eight indoor tennis courts, 19 outdoor tennis courts and nine individual grass courts, as well as a whole host of other facilities for all levels of player. It also hosts Aegon GB Pro-Series events, Aegon British Tour events, the British Deaf Championships, and the British Wheelchair Championships. In the past, it’s even welcomed David Cup and Fed Cup fixtures.
It’s only fitting that – as the home of Robin Hood – Nottingham hosted the 2016 European Archery Championships. There’s the chance for you to get involved in archery too, with several clubs located across the city, as well as NTU Archery.
Rebecca Adlington OBE is an Olympic champion, world champion, and world record holder from Nottinghamshire – make her your swimming inspiration in Nottingham! We’ve got loads of pools throughout the city, including an Olympic-sized one at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village.
So whether you’re just looking to keep fit or compete in the pool, drop NTU Swimming and Water Polo a line – they’ll throw you in at the deep end.
The National Water Sports Centre is located at Holme Pierrepont, just outside the city centre – you can try your hand at canoeing, kayaking, rowing, sailing, wakeboarding, and white water rafting. We've also got our own state of the art sports facilities at NTU such as the Clifton Sports Hub.
If athletics and gymnastics are your thing, you’re in the right place in Nottingham. Olympic gymnasts Becky Downie, Sam Oldham, Niamh Rippoin and Ellie Downie all hail from Nottinghamshire – there’s something in the air here that puts a spring in your step! There are plenty of clubs and events running throughout the year, and in the Harvey Hadden Sports Village – reopened in September 2015 after £16m refurbishment – we have one of the nation’s best athletic centres right on our doorstep.
NTU Athletics and NTU Gymnastics are two of the biggest and fastest growing clubs at the University – but you could also get in touch with Nottingham Amateur Athletics Association or British Gymnastics if you’re looking for help, advice or a group to train with.
That's just a small taste of the types of sport and activities available in Nottingham. Visit NTU Sport to see the full range of individual and team sports on offer at NTU.
Nottingham is a diverse and welcoming city for everyone, where there's always something going on. From playing ping pong with friends to exploring our hidden gems, you'll never be bored in your free time.
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