By Esme Hedley, SciTech & Sport Subeditor
Excitement builds for the new season as The University of Bristol squash club sees a big rise in members after a successful freshers fair and intense team trials.
Many people have never heard of the sport before coming to University, but this has never stopped the University squash club roping in countless new members to its eight teams every year. This year has been no different and has seen record numbers attend the ‘Give it a Go’ sessions. These free sessions are designed to give attendees a taste of a new sport, or to allow those familiar with the game to pick up a racket after some years away, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This September, it was thought over 250 keen squash players attended the first taster sessions, and this momentum carried through to a busy weekend of team trials for both the men and women’s teams.
Over 250 keen squash players attended the first taster sessions, and this momentum carried through to a busy weekend of team trials for both the men and women’s teams.
With all teams engaging with pre-season, it was set to be a good year even before term began and a new cohort of players was welcomed in. The club is starting the season off the back of one of its most successful ever, earning 214.5 BUCS points and seeing some great results at BUCS Individuals. This is not to say all will be smooth sailing; the surprise awarding of Parachute status means there is an expectation for the club to perform to the same, if not better, standard as last year with fewer resources. But the continued push for progress and hard work of the committee has left club President Ben Schlossman feeling optimistic about the future. ‘We’ve definitely found ourselves issued with a challenge from SEH with the awarding of Parachute status,’ said Ben. ‘Luckily, we’ve made a huge hiring in the summer, bringing in one of the most forward-thinking coaches in the country, Mark Toseland. He’s already made a massive impact with his modern and developed coaching methods, and returners who attended preseason are already reaping the benefits of his contemporary approach’.
To keep up with the new influx of players, the student-led coaching has been restructured to cater for every level of squash player in more constructive, competitive and inclusive sessions. The club also hopes to maintain the successes of its teams from last year, whilst continuing to run social squash on Sundays with high levels of enthusiasm.
With a solid coaching structure in place and exciting plans to develop team and social squash, the future is looking bright for the club. So, if you’ve always wanted to give it a try, there really is no better time than now to join the University squash club.
Featured: UoB Squash Club / Pre-season tournament
Did you attend 'Give it a Go' sessions this year? Let us know in the comments!