Poised for growth

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Tawa Squash Club de­ci­sion.

An ex­pan­sion of the club’s courts, from three to five, has been in the works for al­most a decade and now the ar­chi­tect’s plans have been com­pleted, the only ques­tion left is – when?

At $1 mil­lion, it is not a com­mit­ment the club is jump­ing into lightly.

‘‘ The plans are done but we have put things on hold to make sure we have that fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity to­gether,’’ past pres­i­dent and club com­mit­tee mem­ber Steve Baker said.

‘‘ This year is about con­soli-

faces a da­tion but we hope to have the two courts com­pleted by late 2014. What is im­por­tant is that all our other pro­grammes are go­ing strong. It’s very ex­cit­ing, there is a lot of pos­i­tive news for us.’’

The club al­ready has a pro­gres­sive ad­min­is­tra­tion. Gone are the days of a small group dic­tat­ing strat­egy, with in­clu­sive, fam­i­ly­ori­ented ap­proaches now in place.

Thou­sands of vol­un­teer hours went into up­grad­ing the up­stairs area, which houses a pro shop, bar and meet­ing area.

A squash academy has been es­tab­lished with renowned coach Nick Mita con­tracted to base him­self in Tawa. The next Evan Wil­liams could be coming through the ranks now, pres­i­dent Jane Magin­ness said. ‘‘ All coach­ing goes through Nick; he has the ju­niors through to the elite pro­gramme. He’s a fan­tas­tic coach and we’re very happy to have him here.’’

There is the hope of get­ting Tawa Col­lege com­pet­ing at the na­tional level and ven­tures such as Mums & Bubs are paying off.

In the past seven years mem­ber­ship has climbed from the mid200s to more than 300.

Just 50 per cent of mem­bers hail from Tawa with 25 per cent liv­ing south of the sub­urb and 25 per cent to the north.

‘‘This club is based in a cor­ri­dor of one of the fastest-grow­ing parts of the re­gion [Chur­ton Park and Aotea] and we need to take ad­van­tage of that,’’ club man­ager Peter Bow­ers said.

With two ex­tra courts, the club hopes to swell its num­bers to at least 450. Host­ing re­gional and na­tional tour­na­ments, with the abil­ity to seat spec­ta­tors, will as­sist the am­bi­tion to be the big­gest squash club in the re­gion.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple have been with Tawa for many years and they are the back­bone of the club,’’ Mr Baker said. ‘‘The solid foun­da­tion is there, and they have that pas­sion but we have so much new blood now. It’s a credit to the older mem­bers who are em­brac­ing the changes.’’

Rais­ing money for the ex­tra courts will be a pri­or­ity in the next 12 months, Ms Magin­ness said. But it is im­por­tant the dayto-day up­keep of the club is main­tained to a de­gree the mem­bers ex­pect in the mean­time.

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