First, may I say what a privilege it is to have been selected to be your Chairman – I have been in appointment for just over 2 months now and thought it was the right time to provide you all with an update on the section and what the committee is planning for the coming year. The committee’s primary aim is to improve your experience at the club and ensure that we provide a full range of high quality facilities; courts; coaching; competitive matches; team squash; box leagues; squad training; junior squash development. To ensure we are delivering what you the players want we are keen to hear your views and ideas, we welcome your feedback.
Having been a member of the club for just over a year I have been impressed with the club as a whole, the sporting atmosphere and the upbeat spirit of the squash and racketball community. We are extremely fortunate to have some of the finest coaches in Hampshire, if not in the country, which is evident in the range of coaching sessions run by the coaching team (group sessions, juniors, individual sessions for all ages) and the success the club. For example we have had players ranked in the top 20 in England and players, both juniors (the future of our sport) and Masters representing their county and country. The strength of the club lies in the depth of players (from the very young (Squash Tots) to the not so young (Veterans), the elite player to the social player – we have it all and long may it continue.
Despite the health of the club we will not rest on our laurels - we will continue to strive to make Winchester the best squash and racketball club in the country, and ensure that we provide a first class service to our players. This brings me on to what we propose to do over the next 12 months to further improve what is on offer.
Coaching. The coaching team, under the guidance of the head coach Gary Hinton, will produce some coaching products for the use of all members. This will include:
Skills Videos. The team will produce skills videos to help improve players’ techniques. The videos will be broken down into levels; beginners; intermediate; advanced.
Training Routines. Example training routines for 2 and 3 players will be produced. The training routine videos will be a mixture of repetitive shots to improve skills, and pressure routines to improve shot control under physical pressure.
Training Programmes. For players to improve, progressive training is required. Training programmes will help focus the time spent training and help players to peak for specific events. The training programmes will be aimed at all levels of players and include fitness as well as skills and match play sessions.
Squash and Racketball Circuits. Squash and Racketball Circuits will be run by the club coaches (Gary Hinton and Alex Phillips) for an initial 6 week trial period during Jun/Jul. The circuits will be aimed at improving overall fitness and be court specific towards improving movement on court.
Public Relations. The club is very successful but much more can be done to advertise our successes. This season alone the Men’s first team were runners up in the Hampshire Premier League, both Ladies teams still in contention to win their respective leagues, and the Veterans team won the Hampshire Veterans Premier League. In addition, we have a team in virtually every league in Hampshire demonstrating the depth we have in the club – we should be advertising our successes widely in the local press and on our own website. We have recently purchased a high quality action camera to shoot videos and take action photos. We will use this to film key matches and take high quality action shots which could then be uploaded onto the website. This will ensure that we can share the experience with club members and inspire those searching for squash and racketball opportunities in the area. In addition, match videos are another means of players learning and improving their game.
Many of the current committee have served for a number of years and would like to stand aside for some ‘new blood’ with fresh ideas. We would like representation from across the entire spectrum of the squash and racketball community to ensure we represent all players’ interests. We are looking for volunteers to fill the following committee roles:
Chairman - Phil Ashman
Secretary - Jan Briggs
Head Coach (fixed appointment) - Gary Hinton
Section Manager (fixed appointment) - Ian Fowler
Social - Stefan Stanton
Sponsorship - Vacant
Public Relations/Communication - Vacant
Racketball Captain - Vacant
Squash Men’s Captain - Paul Thomas
Squash Ladies Captain - Vacant
Membership - Vacant
Match Convenor (other than Hampshire League) - Vacant
Juniors - Vacant
As you can see from the list above we urgently need some support to fill key appointments and ensure the committee has a viable number of members. If you are interested in volunteering, or wish to know more about the role responsibilities, please get in touch.
Squash and Racketball Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The next AGM is scheduled for Friday 2 June 17. It would be great if we could have a high turnout for the evening to ensure we understand what members would like from the committee and give us the opportunity to present our proposals for the coming year. The format for the evening will be:
1900 – 1930 arrival
1930 – Chairman’s Opening Address
1945 – Update Presentation
2030 – Proposals from members
2100 – Complementary Curry Supper
The club Championships are scheduled for 1 – 13 May 17, culminating with the finals day on Saturday 13 May 17. I urge you to sign up for your club Championships – it caters for all standards and is a great opportunity to play different players and get to know other section members. You can enter the Championships online at this link or on the entry sheets posted by court 5 in the club. The finals day culminates in a social evening (tickets from reception) which will give us the opportunity to let our hair down (figuratively speaking for some of us!), and reflect on last season’s successes. Please support this event, it promises to be a great fun.
Team Playing Kit
The club has recently commissioned Corporate Needs to produce branded sportswear. I recommend that team squash players purchase the sportswear shown below, it is good quality and reasonably priced. It is important that for a club of our standing we play in quality, branded sportswear, team captains are requested to support the purchase of branded playing kit to promote and advertise the club. The idea would be to buy playing shirt (£15), shorts (£12.50) and a half zip top (£27.50), examples are shown below. Samples are available at reception to try on for size and order. We need to decide on the team colours, options would be; all white, all black, pink/white (ladies) – we can decide after the AGM.