Familes enjoying a sunny afternoon in Exploratory Park, Brent Cross Town

PLAY in your park

Exploratory Park is now open for use from early morning till dusk, daily – just a 12-minute walk from Brent Cross tube station.

Claremont Way

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Familes enjoying a sunny afternoon in Exploratory Park, Brent Cross Town

Plan your journey

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31 December 2020

Meet sport’s supporting cast

Woman doing pull-ups in a gym
We’re continuing a proud North London tradition of communities cheering each other on.

People take part in sport because of people, whether that’s a running buddy, an inspirational instructor or Grandad sitting in the car with coffee and a book. At Brent Cross Town, our sports pitches and playing fields will be sociable spaces where you can try a new activity almost without thinking about it and where every game’s ‘supporting cast’ of relatives and friends can come in from the car and be well looked after in cafes and cosy corners.

We’re continuing a proud North London tradition of communities cheering each other on, whether it’s in a sailing boat on The Welsh Harp reservoir or under a pair of weights at CrossFit Atara. We met three nearby sports clubs and heard how being a community helps their members get active. 

We conducted these interviews before the announcement of Tier 4 in London; make sure you check out the current Covid guidelines and what the clubs are offering before you get stuck in.

CrossFit in Golders Green

Sariet Pretz-Davidson is the coach and affiliate owner at CrossFit Atara. This Golders Green institution is dedicated to small-group personal training, aimed at building broad and inclusive fitness that prepares your body for anything.

Woman crouching in gym with clipboard

“This place has history. My late husband and I were some of the very first members here. He was diagnosed with motor neuron disease just a year after we started. It was his idea for us to come and train here in fact. He said we needed a hobby that we could do together, and once we started we were in every day. Even when he got sick and I was pregnant I carried on coming. He was always encouraging me to become a coach, and so that’s what I did after he passed away. During that time this gym was my only safe space. All the members showed up to his funeral wearing t-shirts with his face on, it was really quite special. We’ve even got a workout that’s named after him that we do every year on his birthday.”

After my husband passed away, this gym was my only safe space.
Portrait of man in workout clothes
Man jumping on box in gym
Workout in progress at CrossFit Atara

Sailing on the Welsh Harp

Molly is a senior sailing instructor at Welsh Harp Sailing Club, which offers racing, windsurfing and yachting on the reservoir’s 125 acres of open water.

Woman standing in front of beached sailing boats

“I started sailing here. It can be quite an expensive sport, and back then you had to come with your own kit. I couldn’t afford it so I asked my parents if I could go as a 13th birthday present. I loved it, so I got myself a membership for the whole year and passed all my stages.The instructor at the time asked if I’d ever considered being an assistant, and I said yes straight away – they even paid for my lunch! I learned to drive a powerboat and eventually got my teaching qualification. I couldn’t have asked for more really, my hobby has become my job.

“There’s a bit of rivalry between the clubs here, but it’s healthy. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: we want sailors and we want more kids to get involved in sailing. I think almost everyone assumes it’s an upper-class sport but that’s not the case here at all. Here, we try to get the whole family involved. We host BBQs and Saturdays are our family day. We don’t just want the kids to have fun, we want to give parents a chance to get away from their busy work lives. Every club has a bar, so when the kids are out sailing the parents can have a good chinwag!”

My hobby has become my job.
Buoy floating in the lake

An action-packed schedule at Unitas Youth Zone

Nathan Tuft is the deputy head of youth work at Unitas Youth Zone, where young people in Barnet aged eight to 25 enjoy a packed programme of sports as varied as skating, dodgeball and climbing alongside activities like cooking, art and even radio.

Sports coach standing on pitch

“A lot of the staff that work here are hyperlocal and watched this place being built. Like our receptionist who’s lived in the area for 40 years and has seen our young people grow up. We’ve managed to attract staff with varied skills, who want to give back to young people and their community. Having a wide range of activities is important to us. Alongside football and basketball, we do badminton, dodgeball and we’ve recently started a skateboarding session. This gives our young people the chance to try things they maybe wouldn’t otherwise have access to. 

“When I show them around the building they’ll often look up at the climbing wall and say, ‘I’m never going up that.’ However, with encouragement, through conversation and seeing others doing it, they’re up and down that wall. I’ve only worked here for nine months but I’ve built great relationships and seen fantastic progress.”

A lot of the staff that work here are hyperlocal and watched this place being built.
Two people on an indoor climbing wall
Close up of rope harness
Climbing at Unitas Youth Zone

Learn more about the vision for Brent Cross Town’s spectacular sports and play spaces here.