If you are keen at sport or just generally active, the prospect of spending hours wandering the city’s shopping malls can be a dire prospect. But never fear, as there are many opportunities to get active in Kuala Lumpur and break up your holiday with some outdoor pursuits or good old fashioned exercise.
As such a modern city there is no limit to the activities and sports in Kuala Lumpur you can enjoy. State-of-the-art gyms for working up a sweat are omnipresent in the five star hotels of the Golden Triangle, while most sports teams are only too willing to accept new members for those staying in town for a little longer.
Fitness and swimming in Kuala Lumpur
For expats wanting to work off a few extra pounds by getting active, there are a variety of great gyms and sports clubs in KL which meet Western standards of equipment and service.
Fitness First gyms feature a decent range of weights, exercise studios with different classes, sauna and lounge. There are 10 outlets in the city, mostly in the Klang Valley. True Fitness (website: www.truefitness.com.my) has a gargantuan outlet in Desa Sri Hartamas with four 40,000 square-foot floors each with an extensive variety of strength equipment, 150 cardio machines, private workout areas, nursery, café, and store.
Celebrity Fitness uses local celebrities, such as fashion models, to draw in customers. There are three venues in KL, all of which offer a wide range of aerobic classes and pumping dance music. California Fitness is a popular gym in KL with year-round opening and long hours, making it the choice for exercise fanatics with busy schedules. Two large premises of California Fitness are located in Klang Valley.
Many of the larger hotels and condos have swimming pools in Kuala Lumour but these tend to be of varying qualities. Otherwise Bangsar Sports Complex and MBPJ Swimming Pool are open to the public.
Football in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysians are football mad and love to play the game nearly as much as watch the English Premier League on TV. Sports Planet has top notch indoor pitches in half-a-dozen locations around the city, namely Subang Jaya, Ampang, Subang Grand, Shah Alam, Sungai Buloh and Puchong. (website: www.sportsplanet.com.my).
Kids aged between three and 18 who want to learn the game can get tuition from The Goal Academy. (website: www.thegoalacademy.com). Astrodome has three ‘fieldturf’ indoor five-a-side pitches in their air-conditioned premises which included viewing gallery and café.
Archery in Kuala Lumpur
Many people enjoy archery in Malaysia with the national team performing well at the Athens Olympics. The National Archery Association facilities in the east of the city are the best for those who want to practice the sport seriously.
Otherwise, Big Shot Archery has 16 lanes with mechanised retractable targets in the centre of town. (RM15 for half-an-hour; Lg 30, Maju Junction Mall, 1001 Jalan Sultan Ismail, tel: +60 3 2697 1606). Star Archery has 16 six-metre lanes for adults plus seven children’s lanes with instructors always on hand.
Cricket in Kuala Lumpur
There are a few decent cricket clubs for expats wanting to get involved. It may involve taking out membership, however, and more for long-term residents than those passing through town looking for a quick game. KeLawar Cricket Club has astroturf pitches and plays most weeks in the National Interclub League plus popular social events. (website: www.kelawarcc.com).
The Royal Selangor Club has left the illustrious Merdeka Square lawns behind and now plays on the Bukit Kiara Annexe socially on Saturdays and competitively on Sundays. Lifetime membership fees are set at a prohibitive RM14,500, plus RM500 a month subscription.
Tennis in Kuala Lumpur
Bangsar Sports Complex has four tennis courts which are exceptionally popular and require booking well in advance. Titiwangsa Sports Complex boasts 10 outdoor hard courts with a number of freelance coaches.
Duta Junior Tennis Acadamy is run by the most successful tennis player in Malaysia, V Selvam. (website: www.tennismalaysia.com).
Boxing in Kuala Lumpur
Boxing in Kuala Lumpur has never been the most popular of pastimes, so expats wanting to keep up with training are pretty limited with options. The Crazy Monkey Defense Programme is probably the best bet. Held at KDT Academy, the sessions cover everything from life coaching and personal development to the sport itself. (website: www.crazymonkey.my)
Basketball in Kuala Lumpur
Those looking to play basketball in Kuala Lumpur will find facilties quite limited. The YMCA by KL Sentral (website: www.ymcakl.com) has some courts or try Bangsar Sports Complex if there is a group of you.
Cycling in Kuala Lumpur
Bike retailers in Kuala Lumpur are a great source of local knowledge on beating the traffic and enjoying some unique routes. There are lots of places to get in the saddle within 20 minutes of town, including on big open roads to Genting, Putrajaya. The ingeniously named Pedalphiles Cycling Club (PCC) is a friendly bunch of two-wheeled enthusiasts that organise many expeditions for cyclists in KL including special trips for children on Saturdays. (website: www.pcc-cycling.freeservers.com)