ABOUT PARKLANDS SPORTS CLUB
Parklands Sports Club was founded in 1906 at its present location by a group of eleven white settlers with Mr. F. Watkins as its first President. The Club acquired its original 99-year land lease on 1st June 1909.
The founders wanted to create a place they could meet, relax, play games and sports socially.
A wooden and iron sheet shack, the Clubhouse, stood at the current tennis court parking. It was later upgraded to a small corrugated iron hut where most of the paperwork was done.
During Mr. J. Flint’s first tenure as Club President from 1927-1932, the Club experienced its first expansion. There was a large increase in membership that led to the construction of a Stone Clubhouse. This decision was made in an Annual General Meeting in 1930. During this time, tennis had become the most popular sport in the club closely followed by cricket.
In September 1932, the Club entered into an agreement with Nondescripts, a pioneer Rugby Club in Nairobi North, with the consequent obligation of the Club to provide a rugby pitch therefore further expanding the sporting facilities.
On 17th December 1932, the Clubhouse was officially opened at a ceremony graced by Sir Joseph Byrne, the Governor of Kenya, and the Nairobi District Commissioner and other distinguished guests who attended the occasion.
In the late 1930’s, Cricket took root in the Club, a sport which had grown in popularity during the colonial era. The Test Matches between Asians and Europeans started at the Club between 1938 and 1939, as the Second World War began its rumblings in Europe. These 3-day matches continued annually up to the 1960’s.
In 1936, to improve service delivery, two rooms were added at the East End of the Club. This was to allow two Billiards tables. It was during this time that the Main Bar was moved to its existing location. In the following year, an Entrance Hall, Library and a Ladies Retiring Room were built. This created the need for a bigger kitchen, whichwas developed with the Caterer, Mr. Joseph Sequeira, who eventually retired in 1976.
In 1947, the Club Entrance Hall was extended and an upper level added. The active Social and Entertainments Committee organized popular events, like the Annual Hockey Dance, and weekly Dances with a live band, “Len Wereham and The Radio Revellers” in attendance.
The 1950s’ heralded Squash, a new sport, to the Club. The British Army, which was brought to the country to contain the unrest caused by Mau Mau fighters was responsible for its introduction. The Club built two courts which over the years have accommodated national players from around the country.
In 1960’s, the Nondescripts built a Clubhouse. This led to the arrival of new, younger members. The total number of playing members increased so rapidly that in 1967, the Club hosted three Rugby teams on Saturdays’ competitions.
During the same period, squash caught on at Parklands and a strong competitive spirit developed. The Squash Inter-Club League took off in the country with Parklands Sports Club dominating the National scene at Clubs level.
In Late 1963, before Kenya achieved Independence, a circular was issued to all private and non-private Clubs by Mr. Oginga Odinga, the then Minister for Home Affairs warning against discrimination of Non-Europeans. Subsequently, Parklands Sports Club began a recruitment drive aimed at Non-Europeans. This was well received and led to increased membership.
In 1979 Mr. Y. A. Shretta was elected as the first Non-European Chairman of the Club. As a non-committee member, an outlier, he was asked to vie against others; a perceived breath of fresh air in more ways than one.
It was during his tenure that the Club transformed itself into a multi-racial, multi-national entity and assumed its identity as a Family Club.
A Master Plan for development was established; amenities were to be added such as a Cocktail Bar. improvements were drawn for the main Clubhouse, lounge seating, heating for the swimming pool and a jogging track. Priorities in the development plan were that low cost actions were to be implemented immediately. Mr. Shretta was also responsible for the restructuring of the Club rules to address social changes that were sweeping the country: for example Women were now allowed to attend General Meetings. He was succeeded by the first African Chairman, Mr. Paul Ndungu in 1982.
The club celebrated its First Centenary in 2006 with a colourful ceremony. It has gone through many transformations to boast its current status. This is attributed to the vibrant membership coupled with focused leadership.
Parklands Sports Club Fact Sheet
- Founded in 1906
- Situated on Ojijo Road, Parklands,
- About two kilometers from Nairobi Central Business District.
- The Club sits on 22-acre prime land
- Current Membership of about 4,000 Main Members excluding dependents.
- The Club is a home of Sports, hosting over 12 professional sports
- Ergonomic rubber Jogging Track
- Modern State-of-the-Art Gym
- Paraplegic Gym
- Spin Bike Studio
- Premium Catering and Bar Outlets
- Conference and Meeting Rooms
- Out Door Event Spaces
- 18 comfortable pool facing guest rooms.
- Heated ¼ Olympic Size Swimming Pool
- Largest Family Sports Clubs in East and Central Africa for the time being.
- Secure Parking