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									                 Hampshire Junior Squash

                    Chairman’s Report
                        April 2006

      I am pleased to report that it has been a successful year for
junior squash in Hampshire and I would like to thank those who
have volunteered to make sacrifices of their time and other
commitments to make it so, namely parents and volunteers. In
the past we have relied on Ronnie Bull, but this year we have
required a team replace her. In that team, we would like to thank
Gina Crowcroft for taking on the Junior Leagues with the new
LMS system and running it, as far as I am aware anyway,
completely on her own. Also our thanks to Liz Burn for
organising the County Junior Closed. Ronnie Bull and Gary
Hales made important contributions and the tournament ran
smoothly. There were lessons learnt and I hope that the
Hampshire Junior Closed this year, which will be on the
mainland, will have entries in in good time.

      As many of you will know, the Director of Guernsey
Squash, Peter Bridgeman, asked the Hampshire Committee if
the Junior Hampshire Closed could be held in Guernsey. It was
thought to be a good idea and I was asked to carry out a full
consultation exercise in order to give Peter a practical response.
Although there were a few who welcomed the idea, there was
very little response overall and there were serious concerns
about how much it would cost. The Committee therefore
decided to look into the cost in detail and I approached Bath
Travel, who gave me information about both flights and
buses/ferries. The cost was up to £90 per person, but what also
effected the decision was the degree of supervision and
organisation such an undertaking would involve. Instead and
rather than replying in the negative, The Chairman of
Hampshire Squash is making arrangements that will help to
enable top junior Hampshire players to play in the Junior
Guernsey Open.

      There was some excellent squash played in the Junior
Hampshire Closed and I am glad that we have some strong girls
coming through at under 15. I hope we shall get more and more
entries this year and the years to come and that junior players
will use the opportunity of playing in this event to demonstrate
to County team managers and coaches that they are very much
in contention for County places. Liz Burn may wish to speak
more about the tournament this year.

      It was very good news that we were able to have a Girls
under 15 in this year’s inter county championships. I believe it
was as a result of telephone calls between Alison Henley of
England Squash and Gina Crowcroft. That team is the only one
to have reached the final stage of the inter counties and we are
grateful to Simon Walker who volunteered to take on both that
magnificent team and the girls under 13. I had barely sent the
email about the vacancy, when Simon’s positive response came
winging back to me instantly. We are also grateful to Gary
Hinton, a busy man at Winchester Squash Club for not only
coaching the boys under 19/17, but for enabling that squad to
benefit from the superb facilities at his club. Gary Hales, another
busy man, who is the England Squash appointed Hampshire
Development Officer and coach at Beechdown, has carried on
effectively with the boys under 15’s. Neil Dyke has worked and
travelled with Gary to help coach and manage the team. Gary
became the first Hampshire Development Officer to be
appointed by England Squash and I would just like to reiterate
the role he plays developing Mini Squash in Hampshire and
thank him for the steps that have already been taken, not only by
him but by other coaches in clubs throughout the County and
Isle of Wight.

     We were delighted that Edd Pooley volunteered to manage
and coach the boys under 13’s at the beginning of the season.
Edd has fairly recently become a level 3 coach along with Gary
Hinton, so it is gratifying that our junior county players are
receiving that quality of coaching. Apart from girls under 19/17,
we were well represented at the Junior Inter County
Championships and results should be on the website. This year
coaches organised their squad training sessions individually,
because I wanted them to be done at coaches’ convenience.
Unfortunately, this led to far too short notice being given to
junior players and parents in particular. Next season therefore, I
shall ask coaches to give as much notice of training sessions as
possible with a minimum notice of one month.

      Our thanks must go to Brian Ward for the diligent way he
runs the Coaching Association. Gary Hales does a considerable
amount of work behind the scenes with Brian and I feel his
contribution in this area should be recognised as well. There are
a stalwart handful of coaches, who regularly attend the
meetings, but Brian sends out all the relevant information to all
the coaches in Hampshire, so that they know about vital courses
coaches these days have to do for the mandatory coaching
licence plus truly excellent workshops by Gary Batchelor. The
Hampshire Committee is kept aware of these courses for
coaches and, when sufficient notice is given, kindly pays half
the fees. Discussion is also taking place about the idea of
developing an elite squad of Hampshire junior players, in order
to have more junior Hampshire players nationally ranked.

      There have been Junior Open Tournaments held in
Hampshire at Winchester, Lee on Solent and Abshot. These
events involve many junior players coming from all over the
country and I feel that recognition should be given to all those
volunteers, who organise these large events and sacrifice an
entire week end to ensure they run smoothly.

      The mainstay of Junior Squash in Hampshire is
undoubtedly the leagues, because it provides our junior players
with competitive club squash throughout the season. As I said
before, we are indebted to Gina Crowcroft, not only for agreeing
to do it in the first place, but for setting up a completely new
system and making it work. The Hampshire Cup ran alongside
the leagues and it is thanks to Ronnie Bull and those who kindly
helped her plus the organisers of the clubs that took part for
providing our junior players with knock out team squash
culminating in the cup final we have just had. Gina may like to
speak more about the leagues and any other matters that have
arisen during the season.

       I am sorry that Diana Gillen-Buchert, Hampshire Squash
Child Care Officer, has given me her apologies, because she
could have spoken about the important subject these days of
Child Protection. Coaches have to be CRB checked as part of
their licence, but I would be grateful if anybody else, who thinks
that they might need to be, speaks to her about it to cover
themselves in any situation they may find themselves in with
junior squash players.

      Finally, but not least is the hobby horse I have about the
need for junior squash players to cultivate good sportsmanship
at squash in the same way as good manners in life. Respect for
the referee comes to mind first, but it is also about respect for
the game, our opponent and the spectators. I am sure the game
could be enjoyed so much more by players, in particular, who
could be so much more successful by focusing on their own
performance, as well as referees and spectators.

      There is no point reporting what has happened without
looking optimistically to the future. As well as learning from the
the past, for example earlier entries for next season’s Junior
Hampshire Closed and far more notice of Junior County squad
training sessions, I hope we will communicate far better with
each other, for example by using the website. It is great not only
to hear about successes, but also merely about what is
happening. I also hope better communication will work both
ways, not only from organisers to players, but also from players
to organisers. Everything that is arranged is done so for the
benefit of players and the season’s calendar is usually roughly
the same as previous seasons. Therefore players should not have
to wait until a form is handed to them before they even think
about entering any tournament. The aim is to make life much
easier for all of us who are involved, so we can look forward to
exciting times ahead.

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