Sunday, July 14, 2024

Essex gets new squash academy

Off the Wall Squash launch new venture at Essex army headquarters


Essex has a new squash academy to rival anything in the country. An elite team of coaches and international players are setting up camp at The Garrison in Colchester in a project that will also be a major boost for junior players in the county.

After several months of negotiations, an exciting new partnership has been struck with The Garrison, home to the British Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade, for their amazing six-court complex at the Corporal Budd VC Gymnasium to become the centre of the Off The Wall Squash Academy.

Top England players Daryl Selby, Peter Barker, Ben Coleman and Richie Fallows will train at The Garrison, alongside young Essex players who will be coached by three of the country’s most experienced and respected coaches – Lauren Selby, Lee Drew and Paul Selby. The Off The Wall Squash team will also be backed by other coaches, including: Chris Chitty, Bev Collins, Nikki Hudson and Will Southworth, providing both group and individual coaching.

Earlier this year, the Essex Junior Open was played on the Garrison’s courts and universally praised for the superb facilities. Next month’s Essex Junior Closed will also be staged there.

Lauren and Lee previously did their coaching at Ardleigh Hall Squash Club in Colchester, which closed its doors on Saturday with no notice to staff or members. 

Lauren had established a hugely successful and vibrant junior programme at Ardleigh, helping to produce many of the county’s current crop of Essex players. After Ardleigh’s shock closure, she immediately switched squad training to the Garrison and on Monday more than 20 young players attended the inaugural session.

And, in a letter to all her players, she said: ” Like you, we were saddened to hear about the sudden closure of Ardleigh Hall Squash Club. But as so often happens, as one door closes, another opens; and we are pleased to announce that Off The Wall Squash will be launching our very own Academy at the fabulous Colchester Garrison facility on 1st September.

“We will be embarking on what promises to be a great partnership with the Garrison to increase participation in squash for all ages and all abilities.

“Players will be able to join Off The Wall Squash, membership will not be compulsory but will provide reduced rates for Squads, Kit, Events and Tournaments. Annual membership will be £60 per player with a reduced rate of £40 for siblings, this will include an Off The Wall Academy t-shirt.

“We have been working hard to complete all the final details, which are now available on our website . Players will be allocated to groups depending on ability. Membership forms will be available soon as well as information about the academy kit.

“We are looking forward to an exciting future for squash in the Colchester area and to seeing you on court at the Garrison very soon!”

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