Huge numbers boost after Colchester schools coaching
The popularity of squash in Colchester has gone through the roof after former top professional player Lauren Selby introduced the sport into primary schools last September. The number of juniors now playing at Ardleigh Hall Squash Club has rocketed as a result boosting the county’s hopes of producing future champions.
Lauren (known as Lozza), the former world number 34, is a level three coach and rated as one of the best in the country. She said this week:” The response from the schools has been fantastic. We ran taster sessions and then tournaments which were a huge success all round. The sportsmanship throughout was a pleasure to see. Squash is certainly booming at Ardleigh Hall. I am thrilled with the response to squash within the local community and hope to grow the junior programme further.”
The first term saw the Year 5 and 6’s experiencing a taste for squash. They all had a six-week squash course followed by a series of competitions. After Christmas it was the turn on the Years 3 and 4. Lauren, and her assistant Will Southworth, delivered the squash specific course at Ardleigh St Mary’s, Dedham, Lawford, Langham, Great Bromley and Brooklands. Following on from the course the schools were invited to enter teams in a series of competitions at Ardleigh Hall.
The teams consisted of two boys and two girls and all the schools played each other over three rounds. At the finals the atmosphere was electric and the competition fierce. In the Year 3 category it was a strong Lawford side who took the crown. The team consisted of Harley Toleman, Cameron Hoy, Elise Ando and Leah Brooke. Elise also won the prize for the best Year 3 girl player by accumulating the most points over the 3 rounds. Elise showed excellent skills and court awareness. Oliver Rampton won the trophy for the best boy player with some deft touches at the front of the court.
The Year 4 category saw some wonderful squash played by all the players. The points tallies were so close that it was all down to the final round. In second place were Ardleigh St Mary’s A team who tried to claw back the difference but the gap was too far.
The winners of the Year 4 category (pictured above) were Langham, their team comprised of Nathan Jennings, Sam Wells, Chloe Yhen and Rosie Hawksbee. Their determination and team spirit helped to guide them to a well deserved victory. The best boy prize in the Year 4’s went to Luke Scott from Brooklands School who performed consistently well over all three rounds. The best girl was awarded to Rosie Snook from Ardleigh St Mary’s, her power and precision proved too much for her fellow opponents.