John Charles Centre for Sport

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South Leeds Stadium
Grandstand at the South Leeds Stadium
Full nameThe John Charles Centre for Sport
Former namesSouth Leeds Stadium (1996-2007)
Location Beeston, West Yorkshire
Coordinates 53°45′52″N1°32′28″W / 53.76444°N 1.54111°W / 53.76444; -1.54111 Coordinates: 53°45′52″N1°32′28″W / 53.76444°N 1.54111°W / 53.76444; -1.54111
Capacity 4,000
Hunslet (1996–)
Yorkshire Rams (2016–)

The John Charles Centre for Sport is a sports facility in South Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was previously named the South Leeds Stadium (although the actual stadium is still known by this name) and was renamed to honour John Charles (1931–2004), the former Leeds United, Juventus F.C. and Wales footballer. It is located to the south of Leeds city centre roughly on the border of Beeston, Belle Isle and Hunslet. The sports centre opened in 1996.

Leeds City in England

Leeds is a city in the United Kingdom, located in the county of West Yorkshire in Northern England, approximately 170 miles north of central London. Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city. It also has the highest ratio of private to public sector jobs of all the UK's Core Cities, with 77% of its workforce working in the private sector. Leeds has the third-largest jobs total by local authority area, with 480,000 in employment and self-employment at the beginning of 2015. Leeds is ranked as a High Sufficiency level city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area. Leeds is served by four universities, and has the fourth largest student population in the country and the country's fourth largest urban economy.

West Yorkshire County of England

West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972.

John Charles Welsh association football player

William John Charles, CBE was a Welsh international footballer who played for Leeds United and Juventus during his 25-year playing career. Rated by many as the greatest all-round footballer ever to come from Britain, he was equally adept as a forward or defender due to his strength, pace, technique, vision, ability in the air and eye for goal. He has since been included in the Football League 100 Legends and was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.


The stadium has been used by Leeds United for reserve matches, and since November 1995 by rugby league club Hunslet. It is the principal athletics stadium in the Leeds area and is the home of Leeds City Athletics Club. The sports complex also includes a tennis centre and indoor bowls and athletics centre. The stadium is one of the best available to clubs at Hunslet's level. The complex is comparable with the Gateshead International Stadium.

Hunslet R.L.F.C.

Hunslet R.L.F.C. is a professional rugby league club in Hunslet, South Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, which plays in Betfred League 1. The club was founded in 1973 as New Hunslet, they became Hunslet in 1979 and the club were the Hunslet Hawks between 1995 and 2016.

Tennis Ball sport with racket and net

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.

Bowls sport

Bowls or lawn bowls is a sport in which the objective is to roll biased balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball called a "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a bowling green which may be flat or convex or uneven. It is normally played outdoors and the outdoor surface is either natural grass, artificial turf, or cotula.



The main stand Stadium at The John Charles Centre for Sport - - 337636.jpg
The main stand

The stadium was the first part of the sports centre to be built. It has a two tier stand at the west end of the ground which has a capacity of 4,000. It also houses the changing rooms, corporate boxes and the Phoenix Bar. The stadium has a running track as well as a pitch and is mainly used for rugby league and athletics.

Aquatics Centre

The Aquatics Centre Aquatics.jpg
The Aquatics Centre

The Aquatics Centre opened on 29 October 2007. [1] The Olympic size swimming pool replaced previous facilities at the 40-year-old Leeds International Pool.

Leeds International Pool

The Leeds International Pool often referred to as the Leeds International Baths, was a swimming facility in Leeds city centre, West Yorkshire, England. The pool was situated at the lower end of Westgate and was notable for its brutalist architecture. The pool was constructed in the 1960s and designed by architect John Poulson.

Two submersible booms built into the main pool enable it to be divided into three pools of different sizes and depths, allowing a flexible daily swimming programme. A floating floor allows the depth of the diving pool and ⅓ of the main pool to be varied from two metres to shallow water for teaching and 0–5 metres for the diving pool. The centre is also suitable for national and international swimming and diving, with seating for 950 people overlooking the main pool and for 150 overlooking the diving area. The £16.5m centre also includes an aerobics studio and multi-use rooms.

Aerobics form of physical exercise that combines rhythmic aerobic exercise with stretching and strength training routines

Aerobics is a form of physical exercise that combines rhythmic aerobic exercise with stretching and strength training routines with the goal of improving all elements of fitness. It is usually performed to music and may be practiced in a group setting led by an instructor, although it can be done solo and without musical accompaniment. With the goal of preventing illness and promoting physical fitness, practitioners perform various routines comprising a number of different dance-like exercises. Formal aerobics classes are divided into different levels of intensity and complexity and will have five components: warm-up, cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strength and conditioning, cool-down and stretching and flexibility. Aerobics classes may allow participants to select their level of participation according to their fitness level. Many gyms offer a variety of aerobic classes. Each class is designed for a certain level of experience and taught by a certified instructor with a specialty area related to their particular class.

The movement of the city's main public swimming facilities to South Leeds attracted criticism. It left the city centre deprived of facilities and the new centre is difficult to reach for people without the use of a car. The South Leeds Stadium is also remote for people in north Leeds and outlying villages and towns, although other public sport facilities are available throughout Leeds.

Tennis Centre

The tennis centre at John Charles Centre for Sport consists of 6 indoor courts and 6 outdoor courts. There is also a spectator balcony, changing facilities, meeting room, and cafeteria. The courts are available to hire on a pay and play basis and can be booked up to seven days in advance or eight days in advance by LEEDSCard holders. There are a wide range of tennis sessions available to adults and youths including coaching, individual lessons, social tennis, and competitive league opportunities. [2]

Indoor bowls

The indoor bowls and athletics centre Indoor Bowls and Athletics Centre, John Charles Centre for Sport - - 337661.jpg
The indoor bowls and athletics centre

The centre has a large indoor bowls complex, this features eight bowls rinks and hosts bowls leagues and tournaments. It is the home venue of Leeds and District Indoor Bowls Club [3]


Rugby League

The stadium has been home to Hunslet since it was opened in 1996. Although the ground is not located in Hunslet it is just over the motorway from the club's original home at Parkside. The stadium has also held other rugby league events.

Gaelic Football

The stadium is also used for Gaelic matches for time to time. Teams from all over Yorkshire, Manchester and Ireland compete for a trophy every year.


Since April 2008, the City of Leeds Synchronised Swimming Club adopted the facilities as their main centre for training and administration. The club are a regional club which consist of competitive swimmers throughout the whole of the North East.

In May 2012, the Dutch and Chinese Olympic Swimming Teams announced that they would train at the centre in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics.


The Centre is the primary training facility for the City of Leeds Diving Club and is responsible for producing some of the best divers in the country who have been chosen to compete at an international and Olympic level. The Club has trained a number of successful athletes including Rebecca Gallantree, Alicia Blag, Dan Goodfellow and Matty Lee as well as Great Britain's first ever diving gold medallists Jack Laugher and Chris Mears.

American Football

Since 2016 the stadium has been home of English American Football club Yorkshire Rams. The stadium has also hosted the Championship Games of the BAFA National Leagues Divisions 1 and 2 since 2015.


Street plan John Charles Centre for Sport.jpg
Street plan

2010 election

The centre was used as the venue to count the general election votes in 2010 for all Leeds constituencies. Previously Leeds Town Hall was used for this purpose. In 2015 this function was moved to the First Direct Arena.

See also

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  1. Leeds City Council. "Aquatics Centre" . Retrieved 25 October 2007.[ permanent dead link ]
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 January 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)