Why I love to...

The Irish Times Magazine - - ON THE MOVE -

Squash play­ers and grey­hounds have a lot in com­mon. They both like their ex­er­cise in short, sharp bursts. I love squash for that very rea­son – you get on to the court, ex­pend great amounts of en­ergy, feel amaz­ing and are off about your busi­ness in lit­tle more than an hour. It’s the ideal sport for busy peo­ple.

The other great thing about squash is that it can be played in the dead of win­ter, in driv­ing rain and howl­ing winds at ten o’clock at night – if that’s what takes your fancy – and you will be as warm as toast rac­ing around, obliv­i­ous to the el­e­ments. It’s the per­fect game for the Ir­ish cli­mate.

I am a mem­ber of two clubs – a tiny non- com­mer­cial club, where I am a “sub” on a first di­vi­sion team, which plays matches once a week all around Dublin. I also play in a big com­mer­cial club where there is a box league.

This is a sys­tem which gives you the chance to play with peo­ple of roughly the same stan­dard. You move up and down the league de­pend­ing on how of­ten, how well or badly you play.

Now that I am one of the oldies, I tend to play about twice a week. No mat­ter what kind of body clock you have, early riser or night owl, you can book a court time to suit you.

When you tell peo­ple that you play squash, a very typ­i­cal re­ac­tion is, “Oh, I couldn’t do that. It’s so fast. I wouldn’t be fit enough,” but just as with any other sport, you play to your own abil­ity. I know many peo­ple in their 70s and even some in their 80s who are still play­ing com­pet­i­tively.

While the grey­hound may well re­tire to the sofa af­ter a fast run, the op­po­site is true of most squash play­ers who, fired up with adren­a­line, are more than ready for an­other game.

Deirdre Davys

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