THE HISTORY OF TOTTENHAM COMMUNITY SPORTS CENTRE
1969 - 2023 A long and Proud History
As well as the birth of the permissive society, the 1960's was also a time of increased participation in sport. The England football teams world cup win in 1966 added to the interest in "grass roots" football spawning many local football clubs of all ages. In Tottenham and Wood Green; Boxing, Badminton, Judo, Karate, Table Tennis, Figure Skating and Roller Skating clubs sprang up. It was the age of the Volunteer!
Haringey Sports Council, a branch of the National Sports Council, became an umbrella organisation for the many new, and some old, clubs.
Sports centres were still a pipe dream and clubs were forced to hire inappropriate sized church or school halls.
Bydand Albion established a club house in a shed at the end of their player manager's parent's back garden. It was against this backdrop that our sports centre took shape.
In 1969 Haringey Sports Council persuaded the Department of Environment to allow them the temporary use of the mainly disused Tottenham Territorial Army Drill Hall.
It was renamed Haringey Sports Centre and when the Government wanted to turn it into a Drug Rehabilitation Centre, a spirited campaign including a petition and march to 10 Downing Street forced them to reconsider. Questions were raised in Parliament!
At the request of Haringey Sports Council ( who were unable to raise the funds to buy the freehold ), Haringey Council purchased the site and renamed it Tottenham Sports Centre.
When it became a casualty of local government cutbacks in 1989, the sports council again saved the day by setting up an independent Tottenham Community Sports Centre Charitable Trust and assisting them to negotiate a long lease from the council.
It was renamed Tottenham Community Sports Centre and the rest, as they say, is history.
We owe a debt of gratitude to those early sports council and sports centre officers: Eileen Garwood, Dave Kennedy, Rex Vick, Molly Withers, Stan Edwards and of course Malcom and Kevin, the two we've been unable to shake off.