Sport and Recreational Facilities in Ashford, Kent
The infrastructure is there, but not too well supported
I've lived in Ashford for the past 20 years and I must say that, for Sport and Recreational pursuits, the Town has moved forward in leaps and bounds.
The only downer if you like, is that most of the Centres are out of town and if you are in a position of not having a Car, it's not so easy getting to them.
There are many Clubs if you want to play that is! If wanting to watch a reasonable standard,
Ashford Town FC are in the Ryman Division One South and based at 'Homelands' some three miles south of the town centre on the A2402 road to Ham Street.
Beside the occasional FA Cup Run, they haven't really done much, but still get attendances of up to 3/400 on a good day.
The nearest Football League Club is Gillingham FC. Charlton (Championship) are 50 miles away which makes the closest Premiership Club, West Ham United.
Cricket and Hockey
Ashford CC are in the Kent League and based in Ball Lane (about 300 metres from my house!). Just off the Asford to Canterbury section of the A28, two miles north of the town, a decent game of cricket can be watched in fairly pleasant surroundings.
Right next to the Cricket Ground is the Hockey Club with a high spec all weather pitch and a good Team to match.
Ashford Rugby Club is situated on the A28 just to the north of the town about 300 metres from the M20 road bridge.
They field quite a number of sides and games are fairly well attended.
Named after the late Athlete Julie Rose who was killed in a Plane crash, the 1997 built Julie Rose Stadium is of very good quality. One or two Internationals have been held there and the Club has produced one Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist in Lisa Dobriskey.
Maybe under used, the Stadium is popular amongst Club Athletic meetings.
Swimming and Leisure Sport
The Stour Centre in Ashford town centre has recently been completely modernised and now sports some very high quality facilities.
Along with the Swimming Pool, there are Badminton, Squash, Five a side football etc.
Outside the Centre is a Skateboard Park.
The Sports Centre is easily reached from the International Railway Station (next door) and Buses in the Town Centre.
Strangely, Ashford is not overwhelmed with Golf Clubs like some others in Kent.
Ashford Golf Club is next to the M25 just to the north west of town.
Ashford Golf Centre has a nine hole course and driving range and situated right next to Ashford Town FC in Kingsnorth, three miles south of the centre.
Tenterden and Great Chart have full 18 hole Courses and there are more Golf facilities in Hythe (11 miles), Faversham (14 miles), Folkestone (12 miles) and Canterbury (14 miles north east).
Making your own Sport!
For all other Sports, the Ashford Borough Council Website has some information.
The Julie Rose Stadium
Homelands, home to Ashford Town FC
In 2007, Ashford was on the route of the Tour De France.
Mind you, if you blinked, you missed it!
In 1994, Ashford Town held Fulham to a draw at home and only lost the replay in extra time at Craven Cottage.
Ashford Hockey & Cricket Grounds
Twenty/20 Cricket at Canterbury