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Squash back on the menu in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 03:36 09 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:19 06 July 2010

SQUASH players in Lowestoft have received a major boost, a year after protesting at proposals to close the town's main courts.

Last year, the Journal reported that players were dismayed when Waveney District Council unveiled plans for the Waterlane Leisure Centre, which initially forsaw its squash courts being replaced by new crèche facilities.

SQUASH players in Lowestoft have received a major boost, a year after protesting at proposals to close the town's main courts.

Last year, the Journal reported that players were dismayed when Waveney District Council unveiled plans for the Waterlane Leisure Centre, which initially forsaw its squash courts being replaced by new crèche facilities.

But with three bidders still in the running to become potential partners in the redevelopment, all three have included squash faclities in their proposals ­- delighting members of the centre's 'thriving' club, formed last summer.

Club spokesman Lionel Miller said that following the initial outcry and a public meeting last year, a working party of players, centre managers and council officers worked closely together and this led to the new Waterlane Squash and Racketball Club.

“Since then the club has gained a membership of over 50 members, it has teams playing the both the Norfolk and Waveney leagues, and internal leagues have grown month on month from four to the current eight divisions as it continues to grow,” Mr Miller said.

“A ladies' league comprising two divisions has also now been running since November.”

As well as this, children's coaching sessions are held on Saturday mornings, adult sessions on Sunday afternoons and schools are now coming in for coaching on Monday evenings as the club and centre flourishes.

“Club coach Gareth Bowker has been a key person in these developments putting in much time and effort,” Mr Miller said.

The club has also been successful in gaining funding for children's and adults courses, and Mr Miller said the club was grateful to Waterlane staff, particularly Simon Bellamy, who had been very supportive on this.

Looking ahead, the club is planning to enter a second team in the Waveney league, increase schools participation, offer more courses for both adults and children, put on a Level 1 coaching course, and increase club membership. “Close links with Squash England and its local representatives have been formed, and we aim to build on national initiatives,” Mr Miller said.

For any further information regarding coaching, club membership (which at the moment is free) or further information please contact club chairman Paul Martins on 07900 005 871.

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