Enthusiasm for sport, new courts very high

Squash is the new game in town, and enthusiasm couldn’t be any higher.

The new courts at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre have been a long time coming for squash enthusiasts on the Coast, and they are taking full advantage of the new facilities.

Last Saturday, the Sunshine Coast Squash Association held an open house offering information on the club and giving players, whether they were new to the game or grizzled veterans eager to pick up the sport again, a chance to play in free mini games.

“Today is really our first day getting a chance to meet the public and talk up the sport,” said association president Murray Smith. “It’s been great seeing so many people drop by, say hi and get to know the game again. We’ve had a good mix of people. Lots of people have said they used to play 20 years ago and are interested in getting some of the rust off and want to enjoy the game again. Others are new to the sport and want to give it a try. It’s all about connecting with the people.”

Through the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), the association has three clinics open to new players in the next week. The clinics are May 21 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., May 24 from 2:50 to 4:25 p.m. and May 29 from 6:10 to 7:45 p.m., all at the new courts at the community centre. Cost is $16, and the class will introduce novice players to the game by introducing the rules, proper stroke and position techniques. Racquets and eye protection will be included with all classes taught by Smith. Interested players can register in person at the community centre or by calling 604-885-6801.

“The clinics are a good way to learn the game and connect with other players of similar skill levels,” Smith said.

Besides the clinics, the association has set up an online networking sign-up system at www.coastsquash.co

“The big thing for us was connecting with people who wanted to play,” said Smith. “You can go in and see which players want to play, what their skill level is and get connected with them for a game. So far, it’s been a big hit with the players.”

Smith said there is also a written board at the community centre beside the courts where players can also sign up and connect with other players for a game.

In September, the association plans to start up drop-in women’s and men’s nights and a junior program through the SCRD.

– By Ian Jaques

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