Good buzz in Tawa squash
Tawa Squash Club is looking for 2014 to be its breakout year.
Although a $1 million upgrade is proposed – including increasing its courts from three to five – building up the club’s coffers before it spent was important, club committee member Steve Baker said.
‘‘We’ve had a year of treading water really, but there are plenty of good things happening. There are areas that we can do better, but we’re learning from our mistakes and we need to keep having that open dialogue with our members.
‘‘The two most important things for us are being financially viable and developing our players.’’
Initiatives this year have included reinforcing the club’s relationship with Mana Squash Club, increased publicity through the coaching of Nick Mita, holding school squash sessions and building up the junior programme.
Over the weekend Tawa held an open day, featuring top players Zac Millar, Martin Knight and local legend Evan Williams in exhibition matches.
‘‘We might not be blessed with riches in the bank, but we are in terms of coaches and players,’’ Baker said.
In conjunction with Tawa Fitness Centre, Mita has begun his infamous boot camps for members, involving plenty of hill runs.
‘‘ Players these days need to have plenty of fitness and working hard in the off-season is import- ant. It’s about cutting down on injuries,’’ Mita said.
Baker said the club was unique in having a fulltime manager in Peter Bowers. He looks after the schools programme, in conjunction with Kiwisport.
As a result, 800 juniors have played at the club this year.
The programme aligns nicely with the academy Mita has set up, in which Tiggers (3 to 8-yearolds), Tornadoes ( 8 years and over) and elite juniors are under his wing.
‘‘ We have some great young players here and at Mana and I want them to have some responsibility and give back [by coaching Tiggers and Tornadoes],’’ Mita said.
Baker said the club was being aggressive about its junior programme, because it knew there were plenty of options for young people to have fun and do exercise.
The club building was deemed to be up to the new earthquake standards, which would make court expansion next year more feasible, Baker said.
Champion: Evan Williams came through the ranks at Tawa Squash Club, and was on hand on Sunday to play in its open day.
Coaching talent: Nick Mita’s success with junior squash players linked to the Tawa and Mana clubs is likely to continue next year.