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Round-up of Edinburgh Sports Classes

Following on from our Benefits of Extracurricular Activities feature we are looking at the benefits and a round-up of Sports Classes for your child.

SPORTS Sport is the most popular extracurricular activity and swimming lessons are even available for babies. Ball sports and gym classes are widely available for preschoolers. Many Edinburgh sports clubs have age grade football, rugby, swimming, cricket, hockey, tennis, and athletics coaching and competitive youth leagues for all year groups. If your child doesn’t enjoy mainstream sports, there are a growing number of alternative physical activities on offer across the city. These include martial arts, golf, skiing, rock climbing, sailing, horse riding, volleyball, basketball, badminton, gymnastics, trampolining, squash, padel tennis, table tennis, kayaking and canoeing, archery and fencing. Most schools encourage outward-bound activities and if they don’t offer a club, they usually schedule a school trip to an outward-bound centre. There children experience a host of outdoor activities and learn useful survival skills.

Participation in sports is linked to a greater sense of belonging within a school or community. Besides improving a young person’s fitness and physical coordination, regular participation fosters determination, good sportsmanship and the ability to work well in a team.

The list below is not exhaustive. We have limited ourselves to just a few establishments known for the quality of their coaching.


If you are looking for high-quality, affordable coaching for a beginner, a good first port of call is the established local charity Edinburgh Leisure. We have listed many of the most popular options below. But do consult the class timetables on Edinburgh Leisure’s website for an up-to-date list of all classes on offer. Some less predictable options include Trampolining and Boccia. In addition, full junior membership for under 18s gives access to gyms, pools, fitness classes, golf courses and climbing arenas at a very reasonable rate.

CLIMBING Climbing lessons (for children aged 4+ with an introductory session for families) take place at EICA Ratho, Europe’s largest indoor climbing centre. Competent juniors/teens may be invited to join EICA Ratho Youth Squad or Advanced Youth Club.

CRICKET For cricket training there is Junior Stags at Grange Cricket Club in Stockbridge. Coaching is available from the end of P1. Membership priority goes to previous members and their siblings. Time commitment varies according to the child’s level.

In South Edinburgh there is Carlton Cricket Club which runs Carlton Cubs from P1 and offers Kwik Cricket and Hardball. Open to all, the minimum time commitment is 45 minutes/ week. The club is located in The Grange.

FOOTBALL Spartans Community Football Academy offers 1 hour of coaching per week for children aged 3 to 11. Open to all levels, training takes place at Ainslie Park EH5 2HF.

For 3 to 5 year olds there is also Tynie Kickers at The Hearts Academy, Riccarton with a free taster session available.

There’s also weekly coaching sessions for children aged 5-12. Football classes are also available at Edinburgh Leisure.

GOLF Bruntsfield Links Golf Academy runs group and individual coaching sessions for under and over 12s.

Murrayfield Golf Academy has a Young Masters Golf programme for children aged 4 to 12 where four 2-hour group coaching sessions can be booked over 4 days or 4 weeks. At

Swanston Golf Academy Mcnally Golf offers individual coaching sessions for individuals and groups of up to 4 children. Generally speaking, children of golf club members are often eligible for free coaching, so it’s worth enquiring if you are a member. Otherwise, holiday camps are often the most cost-effective option.

GYMNASTICS Established by a British Olympic coach in 1979, the Tumble Tots Edinburgh franchise runs a physical play programme for children aged 6 months to 5 years old. Based in Murrayfield, Stockbridge, Cramond and Corstorphine, sessions last 45 minutes.

Edinburgh Leisure’s Gymnastics classes can be taken as soon as your child is walking. Children progress from Nippers’ to ‘Gym Nippers’ or ‘Gym and Jump’ (18 mths - 3 years), then through 4 stages (P1+) at various locations. Edinburgh Leisure also runs Athletics/ Run Jump and Throw courses for young people (aged 3-S2).

JUDO Edinburgh Judo (Est. 1965) runs classes for young people aged 3-17. Located at 151 London Road EH7 6AE, sessions last between 35 minutes and 1 hour/week. The first class is free. Edinburgh Leisure also runs classes.

KARATE JKS Edinburgh (Est. 2001) runs Karate classes for young people aged 4+ at St Peter’s Church, Lutton Place EH8 9PE. Sessions last between 30 and 50 minutes and there are discounts for family groups of 3 or more.

RIDING Edinburgh and Lasswade Riding Centre runs lessons (30 minutes - 1 hour) for children aged 2+ and caters to all levels and abilities.

RUGBY For Rugby coaching in North Edinburgh, Edinburgh Accies Minis welcomes girls and boys in P1 to 7. Weekly training takes place at Raeburn Place.

There is Heriot’s Hammers which is also open to all girls and boys in P1 to 7. Training takes place for 1.5 hours on Sundays at Goldenacre.

For families in South Edinburgh, Watsonian Warriors is open to children in P2 to P7 and has the same weekly training commitment.

SNOW SPORTS Midlothian Snowsports Centre provides skiing lessons in Hillend (South Edinburgh) has skiing lessons for young people aged 4 to 17 and snowboarding sessions from age 7. Hourly taster sessions, and either 4-week weekend courses or 5-day block courses are available. For children aged 10+ there is also the option of a full day class. Fees include equipment hire.

SWIMMING Edinburgh Leisure runs swimming and diving classes across Edinburgh. Children progress from ‘Swim Baby’ (3 mths-11 mths) through the levels to ‘Club Ready.’

There are other good coaching providers worth investigating including Water Babies, Turtle Tots and Merbabies Swim School. Should your child (aged 5+) show exceptional promise, you may wish to arrange a trial session at Warrender Swimming Club in South Edinburgh. There is an annual subscription and monthly training dues, which are set according to a child’s level. Children attend between 1 and 9 training sessions per week.

TENNIS Edinburgh Leisure’s tennis lessons (age 3-S6) take place at The Meadows and at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre. Badminton coaching (5+) is based at Gracemount Leisure Centre.

WATER SPORTS Port Edgar Watersports offers courses in sailing (8-16 years), windsurfing (10+) and paddlesports (8+). Beginners are welcome and classes take place in blocks ranging from 2 days to 6 weeks. They take place at Port Edgar Marina in South Queensferry.

Everybody deserves extracurricular enrichment, regardless of their family’s financial status. So please look carefully at the individual listings for info. regarding concessions and bursaries. We would also recommend contacting the class organisers for updates regarding fees and financial assistance.

See our features looking at Music, Creative Arts and Performing Arts extracurricular activities in more detail


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