For more sports and activities visit

Portobello Swim Centre HALF-PIPE HEAVEN

P H O T O :



Portobello Swim Centre has a standard swimming pool as well as Turkish baths, with three hot rooms, a steam room and a plunge pool, and Leith Waterworld has tons of chutes, flumes and rapids if you want to entertain the kids. More straightforward swimming is available at six other pools across the city. We’d recommend a dip at the newly refurbished Glenogle Swim Centre when it re-opens on Fri 2 Jul. Get your skates on


Unit 23, Castlegreen St, Dumbarton, 01389 768333, open Mon–Fri, 4pm–10pm; Sat–Sun noon–8pm. Livi Skate Park, Almondvale, Livingston.

Edinburgh Skate Park, Saughton Public Park, Balgreen Road. Transgression, Ocean Terminal, Leith, 0131 555 3755, open daily, 10am–10pm.

Glasgow Roller Girls’ next match is on Sat 22 May. Visit for more details. Auld Reekie Roller Girls’ next event is a fundraiser at Sneaky Pete’s, 73 Cowgate, Edinburgh on Sat 15 May. Visit _rollergirls for further information.

Fling an ultimate frisbee

Glasgow has some great locations for rolling of all kinds. Just outside the city in Dumbarton is Unit 23, the UK’s largest indoor skating arena. Outdoor thrills are provided in town at Kelvingrove Skate Park. Scotland’s crowning skate location, though, is still Livi Skate Park nearly 30 years old but still the best mass of outdoor concrete heaven in the UK. The freshly-built Edinburgh Skate Park (or ESP to the hip young chaps) is open and ready for business at Saughton Park, finally gracing the capital with an outdoor development nine years in the making (see panel, above right). Meanwhile, Transgression down at Ocean Terminal is still a great spot for any variety of wheeled trickery, be it in-line, skateboard or BMX, and they offer lessons. If you’re more of a team sports fanatic, though, there’s always the Whip It world of roller derby in a city near you visit to read up on our previous roller derby coverage, and check out Glasgow and Edinburgh’s home team sites for news on the next bouts and Fresh Meat intake sessions.

There’s nothing like adding the word ‘ultimate’ to something to make it more thrilling. The competitive version of everyone’s favourite flying disc game involves two teams trying to secure points by successfully passing a Frisbee into the opposing team’s ‘endzone’ kind of like

Niki Boyle speaks to campaigner Sam Patterson about his skate park success

It’s mean, it’s green, and it’s obscenely fun Edinburgh Skate Park is now open for business. Sam Patterson, a long-time skateboarder himself, has been present at all stages of the park’s development.

‘The council realised there was significant demand for a city skate park about nine years ago,’ he says. ‘At that time, our proposal was to be the first major city in Scotland to have an outdoor skate park of course, now we’re the last, but it’s been worth the wait.’

Edinburgh’s skaters agree with him on that point at its unofficial opening on Sat 24 April there were around 300 people using the park at one point, and even midweek numbers tend to be in the 50s. ‘We’ve had skaters coming from quite far around, telling us this is one of the best concrete parks in the UK. Hopefully that’ll inspire smaller councils nearby to invest in their own skate parks younger skaters now, who have access to these facilities, are just incredible.’ Let the good times roll.

netball (as you’re not allowed to move with the Frisbee) crossed with American football (with that whole ‘endzone’ business). Many ultimate frisbee teams are university- affiliated, so if you’re a student, check out Ro Sham Bo (Edinburgh), FarFlung (Glasgow) or Dark Horses (Strathclyde) to sign up. If you exist outside academia, the Fusion team recruits what it classes as ‘elite’ players from Edinburgh and Glasgow, the women-only Swift team accepts female players from all over Scotland, the grandly-titled Principality of Sealand accepts men and women from Glasgow, and the Glasgow-based DiscMen specialise in indoor frisbee-flinging.


More details on the university teams are available at their websites: Ro Sham Bo; FarFlung; Dark Horses For info on Fusion, contact Philip Webb at; for Swift, contact Sarah Breen at sarahe_breen@; for Principality of Sealand, contact Shaun Webb at shaun_m_webb; and for the DiscMen, contact Derryk Boyd at

13–27 May 2010 THE LIST 19