Manchester has a strong claim to being the sporting capital of the country. It is home to two of the world’s largest football clubs, a Premiership Rugby team, a The Hundred cricket club, and the Netball Super league champions amongst other professional teams.
Closer to home, there is a wide array of University sports clubs that keen athletes can join. However, for those aiming to play sports in a more casual environment, there are still plenty of facilities in the Fallowfield vicinity that are cheap and easily accessible.
Whether you are looking for regular exercise or just a bit of fresh air every now and then, they are definitely worth checking out.
Many people will be surprised to hear that the 1893 FA Cup Final actually took place at Fallowfield Stadium, where Richmond Park now stands. Whilst it is safe to say the FA Cup will not be returning north from Wembley, the Armitage Centre boasts good quality grass and 4G pitches. There are weekly 5- and 6-a-side leagues, with pitches readily available to book.
Platt Lane is another great option and is only a quick walk from Fallowfield halls via Platt Fields. Manchester City’s first team used it as a training ground until as recently as 2001, with youth teams continuing until 2014. There is a full-sized 11-a-side 4G pitch, and you can simply show up and play on it for £2 each. There are also 7- and 9-a-side pitches available to hire.
Manchester Aquatics Centre is located only a 5 minute walk away from the SU, between UoM and MMU. There is an Olympic-sized pool, built especially for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The pool is open to the public, and the University Swimming Club caters to all abilities.
Fallowfield Bowling & Lawn Tennis Club has 3 well-kept courts. Tucked in behind houses on Wellington Road, it is well within walking distance for Fallowfield residing students. Courts can be booked for £5 during off-peak times. Members do not have to pay for court bookings, and a student yearly membership is only £54.
There are also tennis courts that you can use for free. Head to Platt Fields, Ladybarn, or Kingswood Park and get serving.
Much like Manchester Aquatics Centre, the Manchester Velodrome was the front stage for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. It is part of the Sportcity complex, with usage extended to members of the public as well as professional cyclists.
Looking for a more leisurely ride? The Fallowfield loop is a 5-mile route along a former railway track. It is part of the National Cycle Network and is off-road.
For more about cycling and life on the saddle, click here.
Squash courts can conveniently be found in Oak House, under Squirrels. Better quality facilities can be found at the Sugden Sports Centre. Belonging to MMU, the centre is located just off Oxford Road.
Further out, but no doubt worth a visit, is the National Squash Centre in the Etihad Campus.
The constant Manchester rain makes the Armitage Centre indoor courts an appealing prospect. But there are also plenty of outdoor courts to be found nearby. Platt Fields is one and is where AJ Tracey met thousands of fans in April 2021. There are also hoops located in Ladybarn, Kingswood, and Old Moat Parks.
There are table tennis tables that can be booked for casual games at the Armitage Centre. However, if you fancy a pint and a rally you can head to 256 or Nest.
Snooker / Pool
If you are a first year, you will no doubt be brushing up on your pool skills at Squirrels throughout the year. Studio also has a table. Ladybarn Social Club is slightly further from the centre of Fallowfield and requires a membership fee, but shows off 2 full-sized snooker tables.
For more information on what sports Manchester has to offer, head to the Armitage website.