Sport in Lisbon

If you have read this blog a little longer, you’ll know that I make it a habit to live for a short period of time in various places. Boxing is something I don’t want to miss in my daily life. Therefore, I look for new boxing studios where ever I go. I resort to Google first when searching. Sometimes the first place I look at locks me in, sometimes I look a little longer.

Currently, my route has brought me to Lisbon, Portugal.

In true fashion with the name of one of the major soccer clubs, Lisbon is quite sporty. I’ve already found several options just around my neighborhood Rego. There are most certainly many more all over the city.

The first place I tried out is the most professional of them all. That’s probably also why I found it first during my online search.

Kolmachine

Av. João Crisóstomo 51A, 1050-128 Lisbon

This is a modern and compact studio with experienced coaches, offering a variety of martial arts and a few yoga classes. The design is black and red reminding me of my alma mater Legacy Sport near Hamburg, Germany. Boxing is every Thuesday and Thursday:

  • 7:30 – 8:30 PM on Tue + Thu

I trained with Diogo, a good looking, energetic young man.

Monthly membership for these two classes per week is 49 EUR. A normal price. Where it got steep is the 50 EUR admission fee which you have to pay no matter for how long you stay. As I was in town just for one month this immediately doubled the price for me. The other option would have been to pay per class at 20 EUR. Had it not been for price, I would have most likely signed up, because I really enjoyed the high energy I could feel during my trial lesson.

I then went on to research anew. I found a place even closer by my house with a broader timetable:

Ginásio Superstar

Santos Dumont 57C, 1050-099 Lisbon

Coming in and walking down the stairs to the basement floor you find a fully stocked gym, even a sauna and a Turkish bath which I haven’t tried, so I can’t say anything about them. The facilities are a little aged, but functional. Same goes for coach Pavlo Lehonkov, a boxer of the old school, not shiny but with heart.

I was received by name in line with me having announced my attendance via email prior. Next, I was shown the large locker room and after storing my stuff I went to the boxing room. I first felt uncomfortable because nobody but me was there. If the same happens to you there, do not worry, people started to come one by one over the next quarter hour.

Opportunities for box classes are plenty at this gym. Make your pick as best fitting your schedule:

  • 8:00 -10:00 AM on Mon, Wed + Fri
  • 6:00 -8:00 PM on Mon, Wed + Fri
  • 7:00 – 8:30 PM on Tue + Thu
  • 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM on Sat

The monthly of 45 EUR for this wide offer of training times is very reasonable. Gym and spa use would add to the price, but I was spared the admission fee.

When I left my trial class that night, I thought I would continue to go to this gym. After all It was normal priced and close by. Had it not been for the insider tip I got this night from my housemate. Turned out, she boxes, too, and invited me to come to her class which she raved about.

Junta de Freguesia de São Domingos de Benfica

Rua Raul Carapinha s/n, 1500-542 Lisboa

A Junta de Freguesia is like a sports association combined with an adult education center. My impression is that it is subsidized by the municipality. Cost are 20 EUR per month plus a one off admission fee of 10 EUR.

Training takes place in a multifunction gym, meaning it’s not a fully equipped boxing studio. In the same building is a weight lifting room if you want to add that to your membership. Facilities include warm showers and lockers. The boxing gym has 3 boxing sacks. Other than that nothing would tell that three times a week there is boxing.

  • 8:00 – 9:30 PM on Mon, Wed + Fri

GWB Freguesia action

The reason, though, why this is the boxing class is so amazing is the atmosphere. This is truly a group. Diverse people in age, gender and profession, come together to train and spend one and a half hours of unity. The heartbeat of this group is their coach Nuno, a boxing crack for whom his students are at the same time family members. Before the class starts everyone greets everyone personally with a hug or Portuguese kiss on the checks. During class partners are switched after every sequence. After class, there are regular group outings to eat and dance.

GWB Freguesia flower

On International Women’s Day, all women got a flower or a full basket of flowers from the Junta de Freguesia. Another nice touch.

I have been training at the Junta de Freguesia now for a month and feel a part of the group as any one else. I have learnt a lot from Nuno and from the other students. If I come back to Lisbon, I make sure to stop by for a visit.

Bonus:

For an intriguing heritage place, check out Alfama PowerTeam in the old town area of Alfama. I walked through the small alleyways on my first day doing city excursion and walked right passed this gem.

There surely is Sport in Lisbon. It might be around the next corner you turn.

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