Squash Mad

Welcome to Woodfield Squash and Leisure Club

Just a few days after opening and the club is buzzing

Doncaster new-build project survives funding setback to launch thriving four-court club
By ROB WALLER, Joint Founder of Woodfield Squash and Leisure Club

 

Woodfield Squash and Leisure Club have just opened their brand new state of the art squash club and are arguably the fastest growing squash and leisure club in the UK.

The Doncaster facility houses four high-tech squash courts, a state of the art gym, studio and on-site physiotherapists.

The Squash Club currently have around 10 teams and are looking to introduce their first ladies team and steadily increase the number of junior players by mid-2017.
Their success hasn’t gone unnoticed with significant publicity during the building phase.

To celebrate the opening of the new facility the club are hosting a grand opening on March 31st, 2017, with on-court appearances from three-times world champion Nick Matthew, former World No. 1 James Wilstrop and teenage sensation Sam Todd, from Pontefract.

The squash courts are a focal point for the new leisure centre and are open from 6am to 10pm seven days a week, with a large Sports Bar and viewing area. With access to all the other facilities Woodfield has to offer, taking visitors directly past all four squash courts and multiple competitions weekly, playing host to not only the friends and families of the Woodfield players but those of their opponents and general spectators, the footfall is expected to be huge.

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It all started when I took redundancy from the RAF and bought a small gym and squash club called the Maltings which I changed to C&R Health and Fitness and C&R Squash Club.

The club was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2012-2013 and was losing almost £5k per month with only one vets team at the bottom of the league and 18 playing members. With the help and support of Malcolm Willstrop, I managed to turn things round and by the 2015-2016 season we won four league titles, three cups and runners-up medals. The squash membership went from 18 to 100-plus and the club was thriving!

In 2016 we decided to take the gamble and I went into business with current partner and friend, electrical engineer Matt Hudson. We came up with the ambitious plan of building a brand new squash club in Woodfield Park.

Matt is a good friend and a genius in the building trade, and the project would not have been possible without him. His work ethic is similar to my own and we have grafted non-stop for as long as we can remember through a truly testing time. The fact that we are still friends after going through all this stress and turmoil says a lot about the relationship we have forged.

We then put plans together and decided to go for it at a lot of personal expense. With a promised grant of £50k pledged by England Squash it was just possible. Regrettably, midway through the building process, England Squash retracted their promise of funding and the whole project was in major jeopardy of falling through.

Anyhow, somehow we pressed on without the funding and saved money by the outstanding Woodfield members (the Woodfield family as we have become to be known) all putting in blood, sweat and tears and getting us across the line.

It really is an amazing success story against all the odds and we can’t thank all our members enough.

The National Governing body have really let us down and let squash down, but this success story is about the players, the squash population and the amazing people who inspire guys like me and Matt Hudson to fight against the odds to promote this sport and keep our dream alive.

A bit cheesy, I know, but these are genuine feelings and right from the heart. My life is about inspiration and squash has inspired me.

Pictures courtesy of Woodfield Squash and Leisure Club 

 

Posted on March 2, 2017

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10 Comments

  1. Marc Thomas March 2, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Great story Rob. Looking forward to sampling the atmosphere in a couple of weeks!

    Marc

  2. Jason Chidwick March 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Fantastic achievement for all involved and a great addition to the squash world!

    Facilities are fantastic and people are just as good!

    Massive shame re : funding however to complete the project minus the £50k is a testament to all involved.

    I’m very proud to be a member of such a venue and be a part of the “Woodfield family”

    To many happy and victorious years!

  3. Billy Hawes March 2, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I’m so glad I chose to leave my old club last summer and join the “Woodfield revolution” the Woodfield family accepted me instantly and I’m back playing the game I loved as child far more now I’m playing for Woodfield and long may it continue.

  4. Craig Parkinson March 2, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Yorkshire is a great place to find squash of the highest quality. The addition of the brand new Woodfield Squash Club is brilliant news for anyone wanting to either rediscover their love of a game they once played or to take their first steps into one of the best sports around. There’s a full spectrum of playing abilities at the club so you’ll easily find a partner to suit you. And the support that you’ll get is second to none. Come and sample the atmosphere; you won’t be disappointed.

  5. Katie Gillott March 2, 2017 at 10:12 am

    To have achieved such an amazing facility, without the promised funding, is absolutely incredible. The club is testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved.

    As a new member I am honored to have become part of such an amazing family and I’m looking forward to progressing in a sport I have come to love, surrounded by some remarkable people.

  6. Andrew Tressler March 2, 2017 at 10:14 am

    When I first spoke with Rob about Woodfield they were just plans on a piece of paper; the work both Rob and Matt have put into this project is unbelievable and I take my hat off to them for what they have achieved.

    A venue unrivalled in South Yorkshire (in my opinion) not only for playing squash but for people to come together as friends and leave as part of the Woodfield Family.

    I can only see this club thriving as we engage with local schools and involve more juniors and ladies in the beautiful game… we may even see some Squash57 going on too!

    A brilliant achievement and one to follow on Facebook & Twitter… keep your eyes peeled for upcoming tournaments that we plan to run which will be open to all – we’d love to welcome you onto our courts!

  7. Dave Bates March 2, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Truly an amazing Squash and Fitness club.
    You need to go to the club to be able to understand how amazing everything is, from the facilities, members and general atmosphere, all is just brilliant!
    The commitment shown by the owners and members, all who helped made this project a reality, are a credit to themselves…
    Personally I am honoured to be a part of Woodfield squash and leisure club.

  8. Ryan Carr March 2, 2017 at 10:41 am

    As many other squash players I have played and been a member of various different clubs and I can honestly say Woodfield is the most welcoming and friendly club I have been a member of, the potential of this place is staggering and will be a centre of excellence in the coming years. WATCH THIS SPACE

  9. Paul Gane March 2, 2017 at 11:16 am

    What a fantastic club to be a member of. Great facilities, great people there which has created a real family club. This club will be one of the best in the country and will have some of the best players in the future with all the youngsters receiving top quality coaching.

  10. Lukasz Ignatowicz March 2, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Fantastic club with even better people. Members are making you feel like you are part of a family.
    Great place to work on your squash skills or relax with friends.
    Proud to be a part of it!

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