Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Alan’s Blog: Let’s rally round for Carlisle Squash Club, flooded out again

Carlisle Squash Club besieged by the floods
Carlisle Squash Club besieged by the floods

Squash Mad Campaign: How we can help Carlisle SC, washed out for the second time in 10 years

By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor

Carlisle Squash Club was again submerged by the floods that struck the city following the terrible weather in the past week. The club are busy mopping up, with courts under 10 feet of water, and hoping that the damage to the premises will not keep them out of action as long as it did when the floods struck in 2005.

The damage is devastating. The floors have lifted and distorted in a grotesque fashion and one of the glass-backed walls has shattered, presumably because of the stresses and strains caused by the floor moving. 

After being wiped out in 2005, Carlisle Squash Club was going from strength to strength. Widely thought of as one of the best facilities in the north of England, with players travelling hours to make use of the first class facilities being offered for tremendous value for money.

The club has close to 700 members making use of the six squash courts and gym facility. The club has many players successfully competing on the England Squash Masters circuit with club manager Ronnie Bell a regular member of England teams over the past 10 years.

The club also has a thriving junior section with England Squash High Performance Coach Paul Bell leading the YourSquash coaching programme producing many of England’s top players, including current English under-13 champion Adam Goad.

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But on Saturday night the squash prospects of all these budding young players was wiped out. Carlisle was subjected to Storm Desmond which devastated the club and all of its members.

Paul Bell said: “With 14 inches of rain falling, the club was flooded under 10 feet of water which has left the premises in complete disarray. Right now the members are left without the ability to play squash, but we are hoping to find suitable alternatives to keep as many people playing as possible.

“In 2005 the flooding kept the club closed for nine months, we hope to be back up and running sooner second time around if possible.”

Shattered glass lies on the buckled court floor
Shattered glass lies on the buckled court floor

SQUASH MAD CAMPAIGN: Let’s rally round for Carlisle

DONATIONS: Squash Mad is happy to launch a fund-raising campaign to help Carlisle Squash Club recover from the floods. As soon as we have the full details from the club we will publish contact details and ideas to show how every club in Britain can help. 

FUND-RAISING: Let’s arrange some fund-raising events, or donate the takings from Club Nights, Christmas parties etc. Every little bit will help Carlisle to get back on their feet.

Half a world away… 

Tarek and Raneem soak up the sun in the Maldives
Tarek and Raneem soak up the sun in the Maldives

What does a squash player do when the World Championship is called off? If you are Egypt’s Raneem El Welily, you jump on a plane with hubby Tarek Momen and head to The Maldives for a wonderful holiday. Jenny Duncalf and Rachael Grinham headed for Byron Bay, 165 kilometres south of Brisbane, with Jenny packing a bodyboard. 


Novak Djokovic and his wife enjoy a game of squash on holiday
Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena enjoy a game of squash on holiday

Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena also got away for a break after he closed the year in style by becoming the first player to win four consecutive ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena. Novak posted a picture of the two of them he playing squash on holiday: “Enjoying our wonderful vacation together…still can’t get a racquet out of my hand.” We’re trying to find out where the courts are.

Antonio Petronzio's picture spread of cricketer Monty Panesar in The Times
Antonio Petronzio’s picture spread of cricketer Monty Panesar in The Times

Nice to see a squash player getting a double-page spread in The Times. Step forward Antonio Petronzio, hugely talented photographer and handy squash player who turns out for Dulwich in the Kent Priory League.



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