Ladies and Juniors Christmas tournament a festive delight

It was the 18th of December – the day of the squash tournament at Lilleshall National Sports Centre and everyone was excited. It was what the last few months of training and preparation had been leading up to. All the coaches, participants and the guests for the day had all taken a Lateral Flow Test that morning and were all clear to attend – the messages on the WhatsApp group were full of excitement…

The coaches and some attendees turned up 30 minutes earlier to prepare the courts with Christmas decorations to make the occasion fun and memorable for everyone. Above all, key safety measures were in place – hand sanitisers, masks worn when not playing, ensuring ventilation in playing areas, etc.

The tournament started soon after 1:00pm with the ladies going first with five of them participating – each of them to play each other in first to 11 points’ games. The kids drew lots to determine who was going to play first and then we were off with two games being played simultaneously, refereed by the coaches.

The matches were very close with a range of skills on display from all players – most players winning at least one game, making it difficult to tell who was going to win and what order the others were going to finish in. With only five points separating the top three players, it came down to the last match to decide the winner. Jane A took the honours, with Jane finishing runner-up – it turned out to be a battle of wills for the Janes! Toey and Jane scored the same number of points, but Jane edged it to finish runner-up by winning more games. Kai and Kayleigh took the 4th and 5th places respectively. Another day or time, the finishing order could have easily been very different – highly entertaining games.

It was then the turn of the ten junior contenders (Archie, Billy, Emma, Lee-May, Will B, Amy, Edward, Harry, Josh and Will – aged 7 – 14 years) to battle it out – the ladies and coaches drew lots to decide the first set of opponents to take to the squash courts. They were divided into two pools of five players each playing everyone else in the pool and then the winners of the two pools were to have a shoot-out for overall winner and runner-up positions. If the ladies games were close, the junior games were simply out of this world, with most of the juniors winning at least one of their challenges, going right up to the last couple of games, keeping the pool winners a mystery to the very end.

The level of playing skills were only matched by the maturity and sportsmanship on display from our young talent – it made the coaches day to watch the games play out between all the junior players. When the dust settled, Will B took the honours for Pool A, while Will took the honours for Pool B. You couldn’t have written a script for this with the Janes coming top of the Ladies games and the Wills coming top of the juniors’.

On to a truly epic finale, with the Wills trading point-for-point in the shoot-out and there being nothing in it when they both were at ten points each – one final serve to decide the title – a pity someone had to win the game, but Will B took the winning point clinching the tournament on the last point of of the last game – a fantastic finish to the tournament – a battle of wills between the Wills!

We all retired to the café at Lilleshall National Sports Centre and the room they had there for just such an occasion, to partake of some nibbles, pizzas & drinks and some card games for the kids to determine the distribution of a variety of gifts that had been arranged by the parents of the kids.

Finally it was time to hand out the tournament shields – there were shields for each of the winners and runners up for the Ladies and Juniors, but there was also a special shield for the most improved girl and boy. Emma took the shield for most improved girl having just started training in September and making excellent progress. Archie took the shield for most improved boy, not simply for the improvement in his skills, but for showing the kind of gentlemanly behaviour and sportsmanship on court that is at the core of a true sportsman – a credit to the sport and his family.

If you would like to bring your kids to squash coaching, you are more than welcome – we are here every Saturday at Lilleshall from 1pm. Contact Martin Carey on 07812 235400 for further details or visit the Junior Coaching section of our website.

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LSRC – Christmas Closure 2021

Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club will be temporarily closing down for the annual Christmas holidays on Thursday 23rd December 2021. Courts will still be available for members to use on the evening of 23rd December and our Pitch and Play session will be taking place as normal.

Lilleshall National Sports Centre will be reopening on Monday 3rd January 2022, with our first Club night taking place on Wednesday 5th January 2022. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in the New Year.

The Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for supporting the club during this difficult year and we wish all our members, and their friends and family, a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

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Pitch and Play sessions to return

Our popular ‘Pitch and Play’ squash sessions are making a welcome return in a new look timeslot from 7th October 2021 onwards.

Previously held on Wednesday evenings, the ‘Pitch and Play’ session will now make the switch over to Thursday evenings and will run from 7.00pm, allowing members to turn up and play some friendly round-robin matches against other club members of varying abilities. The session is held on our glassback courts (Four and Five), which feature a seating area, where you can chat to members, rest between games and catch your breath. The cost of the court lights is equally divided between the number of players who attend the session.

The ‘Pitch and Play’ sessions are also open to new or prospective members, who are welcome to come down and try out our club facilities,  meet and play against existing members, and find out more about our club and its various other activities, such as our coaching, membership, squash ladder, racketball leagues and tournaments.

The club look forward to welcoming faces old and new back to Pitch and Play from Thursday 7th October. For further information, please contact info@lilleshallsquash.co.uk.

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Club relaunches Adult and Junior coaching sessions

Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club are delighted to announce that our Adult and Junior coaching sessions have relaunched on Saturday mornings, starting from 26th June 2021.

The coaching sessions were a popular weekly event with adults and children alike on Saturday afternoons, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but after being suspended for 14 months, as the Club was forced to shutdown during the height of the pandemic, the Club recently reopened our doors last month, and our coaching sessions have now been rebooted, with new Club Coaches Martin Carey and Nick Attree, in a brand new timeslot on Saturday mornings, with Junior Coaching taking place from 10.00-11.00am and Adult Coaching following on at 11.00am-Noon.

Commenting on the launch of the new coaching sessions, Club Coach, Martin Carey said: “We’re delighted to be finally welcoming back both Adults and Juniors on Saturday mornings to learn and develop new skills on the squash court. The primary objective of the junior sessions is that the children have fun. Along the way they will learn the skills required to play squash or racketball and also the rules of the game. Uppermost in the mind of the coaches is that this is all done in a safe and relaxed environment.”

The club has prepared a special “Return To Play” paper, that details all the conditions that will be in place for member’s safety. It is essential that members study this document and are fully conversant with its content and how it will affect you on your return to the sport. These requirements will of course be subject to change.

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Lilleshall Squash & Racketball Club to reopen

Following weeks of careful preparations and changes in the COVID 19 threat, Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club are very pleased to confirm that the squash courts are now open again and we will be returning and welcoming members back to enjoy the sport.

Lilleshall National Sports Centre reopened the courts to the public on Thursday 20 May under strict, but necessary rules. The club have been in constant contact with Lilleshall’s management team throughout the pandemic and we have worked closely together to reach this much anticipated stage.

Paul Evans, Club Chairman, recently met on-site with Lilleshall’s General Manager and conducted a “walk through” on the COVID conditions in place. The club are happy that all the procedures in place fully meet Government, Sport England & England Squash requirements and therefore we have been able to agree a return for our club. The Lilleshall NSC management team have worked very hard to get us to this point and the club are very grateful for their efforts. Lilleshall NSC are very pleased to see us back.

The club’s return will take place on Wednesday 26th May from 6.00pm. The club will have squash courts reserved for the sole use of club members on Wednesday & Thursday nights. All five courts, including Court One, which was recently out of commission, will be available to existing members for three sessions (6pm, 7pm & 8pm).

The club has prepared a special “Return To Play” paper, that details all the conditions that will be in place for member’s safety. It is essential that members study this document and are fully conversant with its content and how it will affect you on your return. These requirements will of course be subject to change.

A few additional points:

  • The club will be using our court booking sheets for track & trace purposes. It is therefore essential that you record your name as you attend and it is legible. There is no need for contact details, as the club have these from our club records. Make sure that they are kept up to date.
  • Make sure you bring your own pen/pencil. Do not share, do not be tempted to hang a community pen on the noticeboards. The booking sheets must not be defaced, used as scrap note paper, or removed. We are required to retain booking records for a minimum of 21 days.
  • Court booking sheets are now posted for the next two weeks (26th May onwards). Thereafter, sheets for Wednesdays & Thursdays will be posted at the same time and two weeks in advance.
  • It is highly recommended that you carry your own hand sanitiser and bacterial wipes in your squash bags. The latter can be used for ball sanitising at regular 20 min intervals.
  • The following link to the England Squash website, gives further guidance to players under the current regulations and conditions. Important that all club members visit it.
  • Outside of our club nights, Lilleshall have refined their online court booking system. You need an account to use the facility. You can create an account online. It allows you to select your court of choice from those available. It is an alternative to in-person telephone booking through the Centre. The following is the link to that page. Unfortunately, we cannot use it for our club nights and will therefore use our booking sheets.
  • The Queens Hall Bar/Restaurant will be open for restricted service. Last orders will be at 10.30pm and the ‘Rule of 6’ is in-play, along with other Government restrictions.
  • The changing rooms facilities will be restricted, with the showers out of commission.  The changing rooms can only be used to go to the toilet.

If you have any concerns with the return conditions and need clarification then please contact our Club Chairman. Only return to the club if and when you are confident to do so.

And finally – enjoy your return.

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Club pays tribute to former member Ray Dix

We have been informed that our former club member and friend, Ray Dix, sadly passed away a few days ago.

Ray joined the Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club back around 1970, in the ‘golden days’ of squash, and remained a member until the late 1990’s. He was a very active member of the club and formed many friendships there.

Ray was recognised as the club’s highest performing player (receiving our Jordan cup) in 1986, 88, 89, 90 & 91. He also won the Open plate in 1985, the Dave Fox trophy (Open squash handicap) in 1983 & 90 and the Over 40 (Robson) title in 1988, 89 & 90. Ray won our Spring Cup Team competition in 1988 & 92 (both as Captain) and won our Village Team competition, representing the village of Longford, in 1991, again as Captain.

Ray represented Lilleshall Squash Club over many years in the inter-club county leagues. He also captained the Over 50s county team for Shropshire. He supported his son, Stuart, in his early squash coaching career, watching him grow up to become a talented squash player.

His friends and former club members will miss him. For details of the funeral, which will take place on 18 January, please contact either our Club Chairman or Treasurer.

Our thoughts are with Ray’s wife, Judy, and the rest of his family and friends.

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LSRC to close temporarily due to the Coronavirus outbreak

Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and having reviewed the medical advice issued by the UK Government, Lilleshall Squash & Racketball Club’s Committee have responded to this unfolding crisis by making the tough decision to temporarily shutdown our Club nights and internal activities until further notice.

The following has been decided as necessary in protecting our members and those that they may come in contact with:

  1. Pitch & Play and Junior coaching will be suspended with immediate effect (Pitch & Play from 18 March and Junior coaching from 21 March).
  2. Final county team matches will still go ahead, as revealed recently by Shropshire Squash, dependant on continued voluntary availability of team members.
  3. Club night booking sheets for Wed 18 March and Thurs 19 March will remain in place. Those members wishing to use their bookings and honour their matches must restrict gathering with other Club members before and after the session and wash their hands immediately before and after their match. Shaking hands after the game is not recommended. All those who decide to play accept their own responsibility for their actions. All other sheets and scheduled matches will remain on the noticeboards but will be VOID from the w/c 23 March.

Thereafter ALL club activities will be suspended and all club reservations with the Sports Centre will be cancelled until further notice – with effect from Friday 20th March 2020.

This decision has not been taken lightly by the Committee, but has been done to follow the letter and spirit of the latest UK Government requirements in combating this national crisis. It’s about not only protecting ourselves, but our families, friends and the wider community, particularly those at high risk of contracting COVID-19, such as the Over 70’s and people with underlying health problems. Other local Squash clubs in the area, such as Shropshire Squash Club in Shrewsbury, have also recently announced they will close down until further notice.

The Club will return and we will keep our members updated by email and through our website.

Stay safe and look after yourselves and your families.

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Open tournaments launch

The draws for our two most prestigious annual Club tournaments – The Squash and Racketball Open – have now been made.

Both tournaments are played entirely ‘off scratch’ without the use of any handicaps (i.e. both players start at 0-0) and first round losers will automatically be enrolled into the respective plate competitions, which guarantees each entrant a minimum of two matches to play.

The tournaments, which will crown the best Squash and Racketball players in our Club, will be played through until the end of the calendar year.

The best of luck to all players taking part and you can find out more about tournament dates and the draws here.

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LSRC announce 50th Anniversary Celebration

This year, Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club will be celebrating their 50th anniversary, following their original establishment in 1969, and we are inviting all past and present club members and their families to a celebration evening on Saturday 22nd June 2019.

The event will be hosted at The Wheatsheaf Inn, Chetwynd Aston, Newport, TF10 9LF, from 7:30pm on Saturday 22nd June 2019 and there will be a free BBQ (provided by the Committee), cooked by Tosh – the Wheatsheaf’s landlord – in addition to live music and plenty of drinks at the well-stocked bar.

If you are able to attend this event, then please contact Roy Fisher, LSRC Club Treasurer, so he can let the caterers know about approx numbers. Roy is available to call on 01952 255885 or alternatively he can be emailed via royafisher@btinternet.com.

Please pass the event details on to anyone you know who might previously have been a member of the club and would like to join us.

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Charity Racketball tournament raises over £800

Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club hosted an enormously successful Charity Racketball Tournament on Saturday 6 April 2019, raising over £800 for The Lingen Davies Cancer Unit, based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

The tournament, which was initiated by Les Bywater, an LSRC Club Member, who recently underwent treatment himself at the Lingen Davies unit and has since gone into remission, was extremely well attended by club members and their friends, families and work colleagues.

A friendly atmosphere welcomed the players and spectators and this was followed by a good spirited and competitive tournament. Many thanks to those who contributed to the refreshments and snacks, the generous donations of raffle prizes and the purchase of raffle tickets.

Les, who was supported on the day by his wife Helen and son Luke, should be very proud of their family’s initiative to raise money for the Prostate Cancer unit over in Shrewsbury and when the money was counted up on the day – we collectively raised over £800, with the total continuing to rise, following the conclusion of the tournament, by £300, to reach a grand total of £1,100.

Les Bywater presents the Lingen Davies unit with a cheque worth £1,100, outside the hospital in Shrewsbury.
Les Bywater presents the Lingen Davies unit with a cheque worth £1,100, outside the hospital in Shrewsbury.

The tournament, which was organised with support from Club Vice-Chairman Andy Reed, was held at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, near Newport, Telford. The tournament featured 20 players, who performed in four teams of five.

The Gold medals went to Team McClelland, Silver to Team Redstone and Bronze to Team Bywater, with Team Westwood receiving the Wooden Spoons. A huge thank you must go to Pete Williams, who very generously supplied the medals and was on-hand to present them to the tournament participants.

The tournament concluded with a lovely departing message from Les, along with the medal ceremony and raffle draw.

A spokeswoman for Lingen Davies said: “Well done to Les and Helen Bywater for organising a charity racketball tournament at their local squash club in Lilleshall. They raised a fantastic £1,100 from participant contributions and a raffle, with some very generous prizes.

“This will help us towards raising our final £68,000, to get to £1.2 million by June 2019.”

You can donate to the Lingen Davies charity fund over at Just Giving: https://www.justgiving.com/lingendavies

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Contact Us

General Enquires

Paul Evans - Club Chairman
info@lilleshallsquash.co.uk
+44 (01952) 812655

Membership Enquires

Roy Fisher - Club Treasurer
+44 (01952) 255885

Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club