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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Save Our Squash! Campaign stops court closures

Alan Thatcher
Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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JUBILANT squash campaigners are celebrating a reprieve after proposals to convert two squash courts at the Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre was withdrawn at the 11th hour.

The proposal was due to go before Christchurch Borough Council’s community services committee last week but was withdrawn due to concerns about finances.

Squash players at the centre planned to attend the meeting and had written to councillors in protest after the plan to convert one or two courts was resurrected.

In 2010, a proposal was made to convert two of the courts into multi-function facilities but was delayed to allow time for the development of the sport to take place.

Since then, squash coach Charlie Campbell-Wynter and other supporters have worked tirelessly to try and revive participation, encouraging schools to take part and promoting the sport outside of the centre at events in the town.

At the meeting on Wednesday, Cllr Sally Derham-Wilkes said: “The council and we as members have received a petition and emails in support of converting a squash court into a multi-purpose accommodation and emails and letters against the possible conversion.

“It is consequently something that the council may consider again in the future should circumstances change.

Nick Jenkins, one of the regular squash players said: “We’re delighted with this decision.

“We thought we would have a bit of a fight on our hands but we will be keeping an eye on this for the future.”


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  1. An excellent result.

    Regular team and social players at Bridgend town, Mid Glamorgan South Wales are fighting a similar proposal using the same camaign theme, e petition, lobbying of locally elected councillors etc We are about to engage with the local press. Given that we are only 6 weeks away from total closure and removal of 3 courts with no consultation.

    Not suprisingly we are still coming up against a brick wall in parts of the council and newly appointed private providers and I was wondering whether there were any addiitonal tactics you used to get your voices heard.


    Alan Prosser
    Sunnyside Squash Club

  2. We are suffering here in Godalming, Surrey. The council have provided a £5Million new leisure centre however omitted to include any Squash, or indeed space for Sport at all. It’s Gym’s Pools and dance studios, and a large area dedicated to a Cafe.

    The old courts, which form part of the old Leisure centre, are shortly to be demolished to make good the ‘harm done’ to the green belt by the construction of the new Leisure centre. We are fightiing to save them.

    any suggestions welcome

    • Dave
      You need to speak to Paul Fennell, Regional Manager, and Jon Carney, Facilities Manager at England Squash.
      Have you lobbied your local MP, local paper, local radio stations? Is the Surrey SRA helping you?
      Try to make some noise.
      The squash players need to demonstrate a need, especially as the Prime Minister is keen to talk about providing better facilities for the next generation of athletes after a successful Olympic Games.
      Use every weapon you have.
      Good luck.

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