New squash challenge a hit of an idea
MONTHLY squash competitions between players from across the Clarence Valley could soon be more than Tracey Gray's vision.
The Big River Squash and Fitness Centre owner has been talking about putting the "fun competition" together for five years, but is now calling for expressions of interest.
Gray said interested parties did not have to be affiliated with squash clubs, but was calling for teams to come forward.
"People don't have as much time any more so we would look at making it a monthly thing," Gray said.
"That will help travelling players take part as well."
The concept is based on the pennants style of play seen in big cities, where teams represent their club against players from a different club every week.
It also comes after squash was recategorised as a team sport, coupled with changes in the sport such as increased doubles competition and the encouragement of crowd participation.
Beyond that, however, is the sport's struggle for numbers, and Gray sees the informally named Interclub Challenge as a way to address the slide.
"Based on squash being a team sport, it is more about players coming together and helping others," Gray said.
"When I travel with the junior players it is all about helping each other out and that's what we want to encourage.
"The uniqueness of squash makes it so enjoyable. It's a bit like physical chess."
The Interclub Challenge would be shared around the Clarence Valley clubs on a rotational basis.
Teams would consist of four players with at least one female member, and they could represent different parts of the Clarence Valley.
"So, if a group of people come from an area whose courts were closed, they could still enter as a team from that area," Gray said.
"Squash used to be this way in the Valley and we want to bring back that social experience.
"We want to bring some of the fun back and this is the way I think we can do it."