Southorn Playground

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The visitor demographics vary greatly hour to hour and certainly between weekdays and weekends. It’s almost always busy with people using it as a corridor from Hennessey road to Johnston road, bus stop to bus stop. They’ll cut across the courts if no games are on but otherwise will respectfully walk along the perimeter.

Map Southorn playground
On a usual weekday morning, several groups practice martial art sword or fan dancing exercises on the basketball courts and many elderly people come in wheelchairs with their caregivers to get some sunshine. The courts are usually relatively quiet in the mornings, some toddlers may be out practicing walking, tired parents in tow. Anytime before 12 noon is a good time to visit with kids, they’ll have full rein of the goal nets and its before direct sunlight hits the courts.

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Around lunchtime, the crowd occupying the bleachers range from sales guys in suits eating a sandwich to domestic helpers having a break before their next appointment.

Southorn best enjoyed on weekdays
In the late afternoons, after school kids come in with their footballs or basketballs and some very energetic kicking starts. There’s even an older enthusiast who coaches kids between 6-10 years of age how to score a goal. Older guys take over the court from 6pm onwards and the mock battles begin. Games go in late into the night, often almost til 10 or 11pm. Everyone is welcome to sit and watch, as long as you don’t get in the way.

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On weekends, it is crowded from dawn til dusk. Events are also held on the football courts with some regularity, usually for an educational purpose or community entertainment. Otherwise, footballers and basketball players and fans reign the court and bleachers. All non fans sit along the side on the ledges, chatting to each other or on the phone. If you have toddlers or young babies, I don’t recommend you take them there on weekends unless it’s very early in the morning, between 6-9am.

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Present construction on the underground connector between Wan Chai MTR station and the Avenue is due to last until the end of 2016. The noise and dust was very severe at the start of this year but it’s become a little better as progress has been made. The bad news is they’ve acquired about half the basketball courts and completely removed the children’s playground.

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Well, hopefully Hopewell (developer of the Avenue) will use some of its profits and windfall towards the installation of a fantastic playground. This will undoubtedly also benefit their development, and please their target customers, the young parenting community.

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It is pram friendly, access from Johnston road near Tai Wong East Street or from Hennessey Road. There are public toilets here too if you need them but no one will mind if you do a quick diaper change on the stands.

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