Waitara club over doldrums
Waitara Squash Club is officially over its bout of the doldrums.
With a successful 2017 season under its belt, the ball is now firmly in the club’s court - now it’s game on for 2018.
A few years back the club faced dwindling membership and a general lack of public interest in squash, the game. It is now ranked number one in the Central District region for the highest percentage of games won, and that ranked it 13th in New Zealand.
‘‘It’s like all clubs these days, they probably all struggle to get to how they were in the old days,’’ club president Mike Davie said.
Key members identified where the club was and where it wanted to go and they decided to put the callout for new blood and focus on young players coming through. Moving forward, it promoted squash in the community by running a juniors’ programme, hosting its two annual tournaments, and entering and hosting events it hadn’t for years.
‘‘What we did was get our name out there. A lot of people didn’t even know the community had a squash club,’’ Davie said. ‘‘Club numbers were down to about 30 a couple of years back and now they have increased to 50 plus.’’
Davie said drawing new people in was the hard part, but keeping them there was made easier by the club’s friendly family vibe.
‘‘I think in the squash community as a whole throughout New Zealand you just all get along and everybody is in the same boat.’’
Junior player Brooke Reid is in her fifth year hitting the indoor courts and is ranked 13th in the NZ under 15 girls, she gained a NZ Champion title as part of the Ha¯ wera D grade ladies team and selection for the NZ Junior Training Squad. ‘‘I want to be like Kaitlyn Watts, she’s the New Zealand top junior girl. She’s already represented NZ and she’s only 16.’’
Club members with plenty to celebrate were Travis Foreman and Eddie Henry who made it to the Champion of Champion National playoffs, Henry went on to become National Champ in his F/J grade. The women’s interclub team won Central Squash Division 2 for the second year.
For 2018 club nights have shifted to Mondays, 7pm onwards and is open to everyone. Rackets and balls are available for a $2 donation for non members.
Eddy Henry and Brooke Reid hard hitters in the game of squash.