Sports Minister gets on the ball with visit to The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Chief Reporter
Sports Minister Helen Grant looked on the ball as she got on court during her visit to The Mote Squash Club’s Open Day.
The Maidstone and Weald MP showed plenty of skill as she enjoyed a fun game with Mote’s England junior international James Evans after borrowing a racket.
When faced the choice of a blue or red one, she diplomatically stated: “I’d better choose the blue one.”
She was impressed by the club’s ambitious development plans, which include a possible all-glass show-court where events like the world-ranking Kent Open, hosted by the club for the past five years, can accommodate more spectators.
The Minister said: “I was delighted to be able to visit Mote Squash Club and meet with some of their members. They really are a great group of people, and having a club like this in Maidstone can only be of substantial benefit for the local community.
“Squash is a wonderful sport and a great way to keep active, and I would heartily recommend that anyone interested should come down to the club and give it a go.”
Mrs Grant revealed she had played squash at school as she chatted to chairman Dave Verga and several of the club’s junior members.
Mr Verga said he hoped that Mrs Grant’s visit to the club (especially in her role as Minister of Sport) would raise interest in squash, which does not receive the same amount of attention as other high-profile sports.
He added: “The junior members of the club were especially delighted to meet her. She had obviously played squash before and we would be delighted to see her back at the club in the future, especially during the Kent Open.”
The Open Day offered free squash and racketball coaching all day, plus on-court fitness sessions such as Squashercise, and attracted several new members.
Pictures by Bryan Lintott (The Mote Squash Club)