Why did you join the Berkshire Squash Committee?
I first started playing squash in the mid 1970’s and I appreciate the health and competitive benefits of the game. Unfortunately, I have also become increasingly aware of the recent demise of the game in Berkshire and surrounding counties, with several clubs closing and participation dropping, and I understand the need for stronger support for the sport locally. With Simon Street taking the role of Berkshire Squash Chairman (someone I have played alongside for Henley), I had confidence in what we could achieve, so I was pleased to accept the opportunity to support a great goal of reviving and developing our fantastic sport.
Where and when did you start playing squash?
Like many others, I was introduced to the sport by my Dad at the age of 10 and played with him most weekends, mainly at Bracknell Sports Centre, until my teenage years. Unfortunately, I drifted away from the game as there were few peers to play and I hadn’t been introduced to a club scene. However, I came back to the sport at age 24 and have played ever since, loving the social and community aspect of the game.
Who was your biggest influencer in the game?
I don’t believe I have had one stand out influencer. For me it was more about enjoying the competitiveness of the game, realising the scope for improvement, and enjoying the development process as well as joining leagues and then playing team squash, initially at Frogmore Sports Club. Of course, there are a great deal of legendary rivalries such as Jahangir and Jansher Kahn, Peter Nicol and Jonathon Powell to stoke the imagination. However, I have never needed additional motivation to maintain my interest in what is to me the finest individual sport there is!
What was your most important squash development?
Getting back on court at the age of 24, the rest looked after itself.
What was your most significant squash event?
Joining Wellington Sports Club which provided a far greater range of players to compete with, learn from and create long-lasting friendships with.
What are your proudest squash moments?
My greatest successes were winning the Berkshire Over 35s in 2004/05 and the Berkshire Over 45s in 2014/15.
What other squash successes have you had?
Meeting a great range of really good people in the sport from the many clubs I have played for and competed against over the years. I’m sure it’s the same with all squash players, but I have benefitted from the personal development gained (yes guys I’m sure there is plenty more for me to achieve on this one!) From understanding how I react under extreme physical and mental pressure and then utilising that knowledge to improve my reaction – not only within the game of squash but, I like to think, in other areas of my life as well.
Managing and playing in the Fitness First Team and Edgbarrow Squash Team was really enjoyable, as is representing Henley and Wellington Health & Fitness Club and playing for the age group inter county teams is always a great fun weekend too. I would definitely recommend all players making themselves available for county selection if they get the chance.