Looking forward to squash revival


SQUASH commenced in the Debtor’s Prison in England in 1851.

Later it was developed in Harrow, one of Britain’s leading independent schools, one of a very few schools still specialising in providing a high quality boarding school education for boys in the UK.

Squash did not commence in Australia until the late 1920s.

In 1955, squash became popular, but unfortunately it was never regarded as a spectator sport to attract sponsors or large crowds.

Geoff Hunt, an Australian, became the world champion for four years in succession.

Around that time, Heather McKay, another Australian, was the world champion for 17 years in succession, never losing a match during that time.

Squash is played for three best-of-five games. Heather lost only two games in her whole career.

I often feel she did not get the recognition she deserved. Her sporting record surpassed any other Australian. She recently turned 72 years of age.

The first squash courts in Sale were erected by Max McKenna at the rear of 254/256 York St, where squash started in 1963.

Max and his family operated the courts until December 20, 1976, when he sold them to Kath and Bob Lonnee, who owned and operated them until 2000, then purchased by Andrew Peck, who currently owns the Bounce complex.

During that time an average of 210 players participated in the sport weekly, some playing on more than one night a week.

Monday night consistently had 56 players, Tuesday 56, Wednesday 32, Thursday ladies 32, Thursday night novelty squash 32 and Friday juniors 32, not taking into account inter-town squash and open events.

It saddens me to see eight very good squash courts sitting idle when fitness and health issues could be avoided by participating in this exhilarating sport.

One would wonder why some enterprising young person has not considered the opportunity to get it up and running again as a business?