It is with great excitement that the Sunshine Coast (Gibsons/Sechelt area) welcomes the world to come play at our two new squash courts in the Gibson’s Community Recreation Center. These courts are located a mere forty minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay.
Saturday, March 29, 2008 was a truly historic and long awaited moment for residents of the Sunshine Coast. With the opening of the new Gibson’s Community Recreation Center, two squash courts were unveiled to the community along with a new ice rink, fitness room, as well as numerous community and activity rooms. Over 500 people attended the grand opening and many of these were introduced to squash for the first time. As well, over twenty adults signed up for an introductory squash lesson and interest was generated for a similar program for high school students.
The two squash courts did not come easy and many times over the past three years they were lost and then reinstated as construction costs increased and last minute municipal funding was found. However, the local group was like a ‘dog with a bone’ and never wavered from their goal of securing courts for the community.
The journey began with a community referendum which spurred a core group of squash enthusiasts to create the Sunshine Coast Indoor Racquet Association. This group combined its efforts with other sports groups to rally the community to support a twenty million dollar recreational complex. After four previous unsuccessful recreation referendums on ‘the Coast’, the referendum passed with massive support. However, following the referendum, the group was advised that racquet courts would only be included in the new facility if it could be shown that the community supported this activity. As a consequence, the group spearheaded a petition, sought support from Squash BC, as well as attended numerous public meetings, all along voicing the importance of courts to the community. Ultimately, the group’s efforts paid off as local government could not ignore the support racquet courts received from the community.
With the opening of the new facility, the racquet association will now assist in coordinating start up activities with local government. Activities will include: introductory lessons, men and ladies drop in times, box ladder, a junior program as well as local/provincial tournaments.
The carpet is rolled out for everyone to come to the beautiful Sunshine Coast to play squash. If anyone is looking to coordinate a ‘hit’, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org