The NHS recommends children get 60 minutes of physical activity every day, with half that time spent exercising outside school.
Not everyone has a huge garden their kids can run around in, and the weather doesn’t make heading out to a nearby park an obvious choice.
Luckily, there are hundreds of clubs in the Essex and London region catering for every sport you can imagine and for a variety of ages.
At JustFix, we’re dedicated to supporting local businesses, and that includes sports clubs for kids. Here’s our list offering a flavour of what’s out there, with links to sites where you can find out more.
Ready? Let’s go!
The beautiful game, the national obsession. Call it what you will, millions of kids (and grown ups) happily spend their days kicking a ball around. There are plenty of clubs that will help make that happen in the Essex and London areas.
With classes across Chigwell, Ilford and Walthamstow, to name but three, this club offers kids aged two to seven years the chance to play football and have lots of fun. They also improve their physical and social skills to boot.
Little Kickers (https://www.littlekickers.co.uk)
This nationwide organisation can be found across the Essex and London region (find your nearest session here). It also offers learning through play and is aimed at kids aged from 18 months to eight years old.
Find more football clubs in your area at this England Football site.
This fast-paced, exciting sport isn’t just for the taller kids! There are lots of basketball clubs across the Essex and London region.
Haringey Hawks (https://haringeyhawks.org/)
Aimed at boys aged eight to 19 years old, this club aims to promote basketball and instill an ethos of hard work, dedication and commitment in its players.
BAD Thunder (https://www.thunderbasketball.co.uk/)
This club aims to provide community basketball to boys and girls. It too has a focus on using the sport to instill discipline, respect and unity in players.
Find clubs in your area with this Basketball England site.
Hadri Taekwondo Academy (https://www.hadritkd.co.uk/)
One of East London’s largest martial arts clubs, youngsters as young as four years old can join in the fun. No experience is required, and it’s a great way to keep fit.
School of Kung Fu (https://kungfuschoolscroydon.martialartsnearyou.co.uk/)
This South Croydon club provides martial arts training for all the family, with classes for children aged between four and six years, and seven to 12 years old.
You can find a martial arts club near you here.
If your little one thinks they’re the next Tony Hawk, then you’re onto a winner when it comes to finding a skatepark in your neck of the woods.
In Essex alone, there are 59 active skateparks, including Alresford Recreation Ground Skatepark. It has a spine, driveway and ledge in-between quarter pipe flat bank arranged in a back-and-forth configuration.
Leisure World Skatepark, meanwhile, features a large bowl and plaza, as well as quarter pipes, flat banks, hips, a pyramid and a large funbox.
Find a skatepark near you here.
Breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly or crawl... Kids learning to swim isn’t just great fun, it gives them a skill and a way to stay fit and healthy for life.
This organisation’s 29-level swimming programme is aimed at babies from 10 weeks old through to children aged up to eight years old. You can find the four pool sites in Essex here.
Swim England (https://www.swimming.org/learntoswim/)
This nationwide organisation not only teaches children (and adults) how to swim, it boosts confidence, enjoyment and safety in the water. Type in your location and find your nearest pool here.
Rugby is a great way for boys and girls to get fit, make friends for life and learn how to apply the game’s values to the rest of their lives.
Rugbytots Essex (https://www.rugbytots.co.uk/)
This nationwide club has a strong presence in the Essex and London regions. It caters to children aged from two to seven years old, and its motto is: “make it more fun”.
There are lots of locations to choose from too. This is the list of classes in the Woodford area alone.
Little Scrummers (https://www.littlescrummers.com/)
This South-East-based group of clubs offer non-contact rugby for boys and girls aged from 18 months to over five years. They aim to play mostly outside and kids as young as two years can play tag rugby.
Want to find a club near you? Head to this page from England Rugby.
Whether your little one is a would-be Billy Elliot or more of a Darcy Bussell, there’s a dance club to meet every need in the Essex and London area.
Tiny Toes Ballet (https://www.tinytoesballet.co.uk/essex)
This ballet school has classes aimed at babies from six months old to seven-year-olds, which include fun, learning, storytime and lots of dancing.
Donna Phelps School of Dancing (https://dpsd.co.uk/mini-ballet)
If you’re in the Abridge, Chigwell, Highams Park, Loughton and Theydon Bois areas, then this ballet school could be just for you. It offers mini ballet for children aged from 12 months to 3 years old and promises lots of fun.
Essex Blades (https://www.essexstudent.com/dance/)
With genres including ballet, contemporary, street, commercial and jazz, there’s something for everyone with this club.
Enfield & Haringey (https://enfieldandharingeyac.co.uk/)
One of the country's leading athletics clubs, former members include Geoff Capes and Sebastian Coe. Children as young as nine can train on a wide range of track and field sports.
Thurrock Harriers (https://www.thurrockharriersac.com/)
This club caters for athletes of all ages, development and abilities, aiming to enhance their potential in a variety of disciplines offered by athletics.
You can find more athletics clubs near you thanks to this page from England Athletics.
Is your child a bundle of energy? Then gymnastics could be a brilliant way to channel it.
London Academy of Gymnastics & Dance (https://www.lagad.co.uk/index)
This prestigious club offers classes for children aged 3 ½ years old up, taught by a range of Olympians, World and European competitors and champions.
Perform Better Gymnastics Academy (https://performbettersc.co.uk/)
This powerhouse of a North London club aims to offer the benefits of gymnastics to boys and girls aged four years and above.
British Gymnastics has a page to help locate your local club.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Yes, kids can do jiu jitsu - it’s a great way to boost confidence, get fit and make new friends.
Gracie Barra, Chelmsford (https://gbchelmsford.com/)
This club welcomes complete beginners and aims to offer kids as young as five years old better coordination, increased focus and concentration, self-defence abilities, confidence and fitness.
Grand Union, Essex (https://www.rtbrazilianjiujitsu.co.uk/kids-program)
Led by Sao Paulo-born Renato Tarullo, this club aims to help children learn the right way to deal with any challenges, and have the confidence to achieve their goals - as well as stay healthy and fit.
Find more BJJ classes near you here.
Multi sports clubs
Of course, the Essex and London regions are also home to lots of clubs offering a variety of sports to children of all ages. Here’s our top three picks:
Based in Dulwich, South London, Jags offers badminton, a climbing wall, squash court, and weekly classes including yoga and pilates. It also provides activities for kids of all ages and abilities on the weekends - find out more here.
Sports 4 Tots (https://sports4tots.org.uk/clubs-classes/)
If you want to give your child a taste of everything from football and cricket to golf and badminton, Sport 4 Tots is the club for you. Find your nearest class here.
SkillZ UP (https://www.skillzup.co.uk/)
Of course not every little one is naturally sporty, and if that’s your child - don’t worry, this club has got you. SkillZ UP is aimed at kids aged four to 10 years old, who need to be encouraged and helped to participate in sport. Find their latest sessions here.
And that’s it. You can find more sports on the NHS website here. Remember - if you need a local tradesperson, sign up to the JustFix platform and we’ll put their skills at your fingertips.