Canada Water’s new Wallball courts take the local landscape as their design inspiration
Fancy trying a new sport? Canada Water’s new outdoor Wallball centre has opened for all to use for free. The courts will help people who live, work and spend time locally to get physically active and interact with their streetscape in a fun new way. Wallball is a community-focused sport that is simple and accessible – all you need is a ball! The eye-catching courts, filled with geometric graphics celebrating the area’s rich local history, are located adjacent to Surrey Quays Shopping Centre. They will provide an exciting new leisure facility, growing the health and wellbeing offering at the evolving 53-acre site.
Wallball is a game based on the simple concept of hitting a ball against a wall with your hands – a bit like squash without a racquet. It’s open to players of all ages and abilities and is big in New York, which has more than 2,500 courts. Wallball is beginning to take off in London, with the first full-size community court opened in Southwark last year. At Canada Water, developer British Land has teamed up with the UK Wallball charity to launch the UK’s first wallball venue to feature two outdoor courts.
You can bring your own ball and play for free, or balls will be available for just £2 from an onsite vending machine. With games typically played for about 15 minutes, the two-court venue will enable over 100 new people to play each week, and many more in coached sessions. The space was designed by artist Dan Gurney, commissioned by British Land to reflect the themes of the local landscape. The blue court draws on the heritage of the area as a working dock, with geometric shapes reflecting boats, fish and timber porters. The green court takes its inspiration from features of the local woodland and park, including Southwark’s iconic bandstand.
It’s a simple game and really easy to get started. For details of how to play, click here.
Daniel Grant, Founder of UK Wallball, said: “We cannot wait to see people of all shapes and sizes get going on these amazing courts. They’ve been designed with the local community at heart and we’re looking forward to seeing how people use the area as an active and social space. One of our key values is that the sport should be free to access and we’re grateful to British Land for embracing this vision.
He added: “Don’t forget, it’s not just Wallball you can do here. We have other games marked out, there’s a climbing centre coming soon next door, the site can be used for dancing or film screenings, and you can even just sit around it and have some lunch!”
Emma Cariaga, Joint Head of Canada Water at British Land, added: “The new Wallball courts at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre will provide an exciting new sport facility in Canada Water. We’re committed to ensuring that the Canada Water development supports active lifestyles, through the provision of new public spaces as well as by supporting access to leisure and recreational facilities for people locally. The Wallball courts will be open for everyone to come and play a game, and we’re excited by the opportunity for local schools and groups to come and use this new free-to-access facility.”