Sport facilities at Colchester

Evolve gym

Personal training in gym

Designed to inspire and motivate you to keep fit - students, staff and the public can all benefit from a great value membership at our Evolve gym in Colchester.

Book a facility

Our online booking facility is available to Evolve and Evolve+ members. If you're eligible you'll receive an introductory email with your PIN and full instructions on how to use the booking service.

Fitness classes, badminton, squash, table tennis and tennis courts are available to book. To ensure fair access to all, consecutively timed/double bookings for courts are not permitted.

We are pleased to announce that Sports Pass members can also book online for badminton, squash, table tennis and tennis courts.

Sports Centre opening times

The Colchester Campus Sport Centre is open all year round, except Bank Holidays. Access to the facilities will depend on whether you have a peak or off-peak membership.

  • Evolve Gym
  • STP and tennis courts: 8am - 10pm
  • All other facilities: 8am - 11pm
  • Evolve Gym
  • STP and tennis courts: 8am - 10pm
  • All other facilities: 8am - 10pm

Indoor facilities

Our large sports hall is designed for the majority of indoor activities. The maximum capacity is 200 people, but this does vary depending on the sport. If your sport isn’t listed, just contact us and ask as we will do our best to help.

  • Evolve gym

    Our first class Evolve Gym and fitness studios are designed to inspire and motivate you in keeping fit. Evolve offers 130 state-of-the-art fitness stations in a light, spacious and fully air-conditioned environment.

  • Activity studios

    There are two activity studios, designed primarily for fitness classes, cheerleading, dance and martial arts.

    • Studio 1 [H: 3m, W: 12.9m, D: 8.44m] is suited to ballet as well as martial arts and more specialised fitness courses.
    • Studio 2 - double-height studio is ideal for cheerleading, dance and aerobics classes.

  • Sports hall

    Sports Hall

    At the heart of our Sports Centre is the sport hall which houses a full size basketball court, badminton, volleyball, netball and other court games.

  • Climbing wall

    Approximately 250 metres of climbing area, suitable for all grades up to relative expert, can be used, either with a qualified instructor or proof of proficiency. Big enough for up to 40 people at any one time, the wall has bouldering and top roping facilities.

    Climbing clubs

    There is a student/staff climbing club University of Essex Climbing Club and two Colchester-based clubs: Colchester Climbing Club and the Out-There Club. These hold beginner and intermediate sessions and can provide equipment and instruction.

    For outdoor climbing see James Linford Outdoor Learning and Adventure.


    Instructors need to have the following current qualifications and a ratio of one instructor to eight climbers must be adhered to:

    • Mountain Instructor
    • Single Pitch Award
    • Climbing Wall Award
    • Climbing Wall Supervisors Award – specific to this wall

    Climbing wall parties and general hire

    Hold a birthday party with a difference or enjoy a unique team-building experience by hiring the climbing wall. Our staff can create a unique and positive climbing event that will be a memorable time for all. Parties last about 90 minutes and are available for group sizes of up to 15 people, aged eight years and upwards.

    Cost depends on group size, whether you need instructors and/or exclusive access. For all booking enquiries please contact the Sports Centre on 01206 873250 or email

  • Squash

    women playing squash

    Five glass-backed courts with two offering spectator viewing.

    Our active squash club runs training sessions and competitive leagues and competitions.

  • Table tennis

    man playing table tennis

    Two tables are available for recreational table tennis in activity studio 2.

    For competitive play, the sports hall is available.

Outdoor facilities

  • Outdoor pitches

    man playing table tennis

    Approximately 40 acres is available for outdoor sport including:

    • Our sand-based artificial pitch next to the Sports Centre
    • Two rugby pitches
    • Seven football pitches
    • Two cricket squares in the summer
    • Outdoor field pitches map (.jpg)

    The floodlit artificial pitch is used for hockey and football and can be split into quarters for small sided football or for training.

    One of our rugby pitches is marked up for American football and there are grid areas for training. The football pitches are also marked up for junior matches and lacrosse. Summer sports include outdoor archery, volleyball and rounders.

  • Disc golf

    Regular host of the British Open Disc Golf Championship, our 18-hole course (one of the oldest in England) is over undulating parkland with water hazards, around the Colchester Campus. There is also a nine-hole course for beginners and children or for a quick practice round.

  • Tennis/netball courts

    tennis ball and racket

    Hard court tennis courts, or two netball courts, are next to the Sports Centre with floodlighting for evening use.

  • Cricket

    tennis ball and racket

    The two grass squares include an artificial wicket and there are three outdoor nets available. To maintain match fitness through the winter two indoor cricket nets and a bowling machine are available for hire in the Sports Centre.

  • Squirrel run

    There are three jogging routes, ranging from 1.2 miles to 3.2 miles long. They run through the undulating parkland around the Colchester Campus, avoiding all roads.

Contact us

Contact us

We're here to help you make the most of our facilities. So contact us if you want to book pitches, courts or fitness classes, or if you have any questions about our memberships and facilities.

Just Play

Just Play

Enjoy team sports but not sure if you want to play for an Essex team? No problem. Offering everything from korfball to cricket, Just Play gives you the opportunity to just play!

Make a booking

Student playing table tennis

Our online booking facility for is available for Evolve and Evolve+ members. You can book fitness classes, badminton, squash, table tennis and tennis courts.


image of a fun run

Our memberships give you so much more than you'd expect. Included free of charge with your gym membership are our range of fitness classes and access to a number of other sports and facilities.