Living in Portsmouth

Welcome to our city
Photo: Stefan & Sara Venter

Sport & Fitness

Portsmouth is a city with a proud sporting heritage, world-class sporting facilities and international events, be it road running at the Great South Run, sailing at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series or home matches at Portsmouth Football Club.


With great flat routes throughout the city, and a few demanding hills to the north, Portsmouth is the ideal place to run. With weekly running schemes and a full programme of national and local events, Portsmouth is a great place for all running enthusiasts.

Here are some of the highlights in the annual programme:

  • Great South Run - Each year, Portsmouth holds the world's premier 10 mile running event, the Great South Run.
  • Race for Life - Thousands of female athletes come together each year to show cancer who's boss at the annual Race for Life events. First up is the chance to get Pretty Muddy on a 5k obstacle course, with versions for both adults and children. Then, a day later comes the original Race for Life 5k or 10k races.
  • Parkrun - Join hundreds of runners every Saturday for a free, fun 5km run along Southsea Seafront. Portsmouth Parkrun is a great way to get into running with like-minded athletes.
  • Great Run Local - Great Run Local is a free, timed, weekly 5km run. All you need to do is register, then turn up on Sunday mornings. There is a 2k route for beginners, youngsters or anyone else finding their way into the world of running.


Take a refreshing dip in one of the swimming pools across Portsmouth.

The Mountbatten Centre houses an impressive 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool, perfect for any swimming enthusiast.

The new Ravelin sports centre, part of the University of Portsmouth, is open to the public. It boasts a 25 metre, eight lane variable depth pool where swimmers have the sensation of swimming in the open-air due to the views of the park from the pool.


If you're looking to experience first-hand a pure passion for sport, we would suggest that you visit Fratton Park, the home of Portsmouth Football Club.

Portsmouth Youth Football League (PYFL)

The PYFL is one of the largest youth football leagues in the south of England, serving Portsmouth and the surrounding area, with over 4000 boys and girls signed up for competitive football and another 500+ involved in non-competitive mini-sided football.

Competitive Football

There are many local amateur clubs and opportunities to play everything from small sided 5, 6, 7 a side leagues, to traditional 11 v 11, to futsal, walking football or beach soccer. The Hampshire Football Association can help to find right opportunity for you, near Portsmouth.


Explore Portsmouth by bike. With miles of dedicated cycle paths, Portsmouth is an amazing city to explore on two wheels. Also, being as flat a city as you're likely to get, Portsmouth is the perfect place for cycling beginners. Don't worry if you're a little more experienced, though, as there are a great number of routes that are slightly more challenging - whether it's a trip up the Portsdown Hill incline or even a loop around to the South Downs.

For a full look at the Portsmouth sports calendar, including duathlon races, cycling events or to find out more about being active:


We all know that regular exercise is the path to a longer, healthier and happier life. And whatever your fitness goals, from Aquasize to Zumba, kickboxing to yoga, there a gym with a regime for you.

The facilities range from gyms, health suites and fitness studios. Each centre can advise on the facilities they have and what they can offer.