The best sports centres in KL

We round up some of the best sports centres in Kuala Lumpur that are consistently on top of their game
By Kong Wai Yeng
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Sport and fitness, Football

Best for futsal: Sports Planet

icon-location-pin Subang

Sports Planet is mobbed on weekends but that’s because of their great perks: bright industrial lighting, well-maintained pitches, spectator galleries, clean shower rooms and a snack shop. For real futsal tournaments and budding stars to hone their game, Sports Planet is also fitted with FIFA-approved sport court pitches. At night, the pros come out to play where friendly kick-abouts turn into demonstrations of technique, agility and ball mastery.

Sport and fitness

Best for paintball: Xtion Paintball Park

icon-location-pin Bukit Jalil

You’ll walk out looking more colourful than our national flag after a game at Xtion, which comprises the Recball field, Mayhem Zone and three international tournament sized (200’X120’) fields. Xtion’s paintball tournaments are sanctioned by governing bodies such as Paintball Sports Promotions USA and Millennium Series Europe so you know you’re in good hands during combat. The paintball centre only uses full fledged Millennium/PSP Sup’Airball bunkers, and it’s equipped with shower facilities, eating area, three grandstands (each can accommodate up to 50 people) and target shooting range. We definitely recommend the adult party package for 20 people (RM999) that includes gear rental, five Domino’s pizzas, two hours of playing field and free photography.

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Sport and fitness

Best for archery: Stars Archery

With everyone wanting to shoot like Katniss Everdeen and Legolas these days, archery has been enjoying a renaissance. Suit up with arm guards and finger tabs at Stars Archery indoor shooting range, which will provide all the equipment for you. The spacious Sunway Pyramid outlet is decked out with 23 lanes – perfect to accommodate parties. Before you take aim, trainers will brief you on the instructions (even the pros are not exempted), and if you still can’t differentiate between an arrow shaft and shelf, they’ll gladly give you a crash course.With three indoor archery ranges at Genting Highlands and one in Sunway Pyramid, this is the place to go if you’ve got a budding William Tell on your hands.

Sport and fitness

Best for badminton: The Challenger Cheras

icon-location-pin Cheras

No one is going to laugh at your miserable serve as players here range from rookies to national team elites. The Challenger gets top marks for using rubberised mats as well as providing hot showers, quick bites at the cafeteria, and large projector screens for live football and badminton matches. The Cheras branch is the most established (20 courts), and there’s futsal, table tennis and snooker facilities on the side too. You’ll find men in their fifties tossing forehands with surprising swiftness – these seasoned pros can point you in the direction of a private coach or a place to get your racket restrung. For something more affordable, The Challenger also provides in-house group lessons starting from RM120 per month.

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Sport and fitness

Best for swimming: National Aquatic Centre

icon-location-pin Sri Petaling

This sheltered Olympic-sized pool with eight lanes has long been the standard-bearer for triathletes and lap swimmers to perfect their strokes. It’s mostly crowded on weeknights and weekends but show up at 8am on a Sunday and you’ll have the place mostly to yourself (for a while at least). Pool 2 (open to public although D Swim Academy occupies a few lanes for their swimming lessons) starts off at 1.2m and gradually slopes to a depth of 1.8m so cautious beginners can wade in slowly. The shower room is not exactly the cleanest but the aquatic centre just brought in new lockers and benches.

Things to do

Best for basketball (outdoor): YMCA

icon-location-pin Brickfields

Open courts are dotted all over KL to practise lay-ups and taking shots but YMCA’s are well maintained as the backboards and baskets are renewed regularly. The court may not be country club quality but it’s surrounded by trees that provide a bit of shade.

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Sport and fitness

Best for basketball (indoor): MABA Stadium

icon-location-pin KL City Centre

If normal shootarounds are too amateurish for you, get serious at the national teams’ training area, Malaysia Basketball Association (MABA). Many future Malaysian stars cut their teeth at this world-class court, which hosted the Malaysia National Basketball League and FIBA Asia Basketball Championship. Keep in mind that even the pickup games here are fierce.

Sport and fitness

Best for tennis: National Tennis Centre

icon-location-pin KL City Centre

For a swinging good time, the courts at the National Tennis Centre are the better ones in town. Home to 13 outdoor courts and two indoor courts, the centre is outfitted with Rebound Ace flooring, the same cushioned tennis hardcourt used in the Australian Grand Slam. After a draining workout, take advantage of their spacious shower rooms and well-stocked cafeteria. Time slots for the coveted weekends are snapped up quickly so always book through phone.

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