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Finchley Manor Club

Squash and Racketball section report 2011/2012

Committee

  2011-12 2012-13
Secretary Barry Cullen Vacancy
Membership Ken Picton Standing for re-election
Team Reps Tim Taylor Standing for re-election
Ladder Leagues Paul Hensman Standing for re-election
Veterans Peter Hughes Standing for re-election
Ladies / Coaching Judith Williams Standing for re-election
Court Maintenance David Whiter Standing for re-election
Elected Tom Morris Standing for re-election
Mike O'Connell Standing for re-election
Racketball Peter Karan Standing for re-election
Juniors - Vacancy

Bennett and Hall Squash Tournament 2011

The domestic event of the squash year was the Club tournament, again very generously supported by Messrs Bennett and Hall (David and Graham Bettis) and Millet Sports. This year's Finals were held on Saturday afternoon, 22 May.

Tournament Results: 2011
  • Open Andrew Taylor beat Rick Prior
  • Ladies Judy Williams beat Judith Harris
  • Team H'cap Brendon Mounter beat Zubid Rehman
  • Club H'cap Ross Bogert beat Richard Searby
  • Veterans Brendon Mounter beat Tim Taylor
  • Vintage Zubid Rehman beat Paul Davison
  • Open Plate Nigel Leach beat Tim Durham
  • Club H'cap Plate Paul Hensman beat Mahesh Tailor

A successful squash tournament is the result of the combined efforts of many people, expertly co-ordinated by a good organiser. We have one of the very best organisers in Peter Hughes, ably assisted, amongst others, by Judy Williams and Paul Hensman who act as Peter's deputies. We are grateful to the three of them for the sterling work that they did in this event. As in previous years surplus tournament funds were sent to a local charity.

Teams 2011

As usual we have been represented this season in the Middlesex leagues (three Men's, two Veterans and two Vintage teams) but have found the standard of competition generally has continued to rise. In addition an acute shortage of players resulted in our first team's mid-term withdrawal from the Middx leagues, the first time this has happened. On the positive side, summer has seen the arrival of Daniel Enaholo as our new Performance coach. It is hoped Daniel will help to bring about a substantial improvement in the playing standards at the club when he resumes coaching again.

Winter team captains (current): 1st: vacant ; 2nd: Pat Earl; 3rd: Jason Hallums; Vets1: Kevin Silver; Vets2: Peter Hughes; Vintage1: Peter Hughes; Vintage2: Clive Bowman.

General

  1. Maintenance:
    Routine court cleaning and floor maintenance is carried out every year by our able groundsman, Brian. This year we are looking at the possible use of a new plastering process called Court Tech to eliminate some of the front-wall hollows that recur on two or three of our courts. Tim Taylor and David Whiter are currently examining the cost and benefits of this.
  2. Membership:
    Our membership numbers remain very healthy. We finished the 010/011 season with 272 senior members (236 men and 36 women) and 67 juniors (56 and 11), thus keeping our overall membership close to the 350 mark. This is also very close to the numbers for the previous season and shows that squash and racketball membership at FM continues to be strong.
    Much credit for this should go to our dedicated membership secretary, Ken Picton and for the continuing high level of junior membership, to Judy Williams.
  3. Club night:
    Sunday evenings' club nights continue to be one of this club's longest lasting success stories. Notwithstanding the fact that all supervision of games is entirely voluntary, club night is popular and well-supported week in and week out. Again this year, thanks to the willing efforts of Gillian Hill, club night has more organisers than ever before. We are very grateful to Gillian for taking over the task of running this Sunday evening activity. (If you would like to try your hand at organising a club evening, please contact Gillian, who will be very pleased to hear from you and give you helpful advice.)
  4. WBBS:
    The squash section web-based booking system has become an integral part of the information network of the club, as well as servicing all our squash playing. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Paul Hensman we now have a block email service available to all members of the club who need to circulate general information (contact Paul via the ladder leagues info.)
  5. Ladder leagues:
    More kudos for Paul Hensman are in order for transforming the league results system by working with our web-master, Noel Griffin, to post all league results on the club website, together with other useful work in supervising the running of the leagues on a day-to-day basis. We are very grateful to Paul (and Noel) for carrying out this demanding task.
  6. Juniors:
    Because we do not currently have a Junior rep on the committeee, the 2011 picture of junior events at the club is necessarily a limited one. However Judy Williams, our resident coach, supported by Peter Hughes, Tim Taylor and, this year Daniel Enaholo, have kept FM juniors at the forefront of Middlesex squash. For instance FM recently fielded two junior teams in an inter-county match against Bedfordshire and others at U-9 and U-11 level. Additionally FM juniors made up the core of a strong London Borough of Barnet team in the recent London Youth Games.
    In October we held the third of our prestigious Middlesex Junior Open tournaments. This event attracts young players of county and even national standard and it was pleasing to see FM junior players (and ex-players) represented in such a high quality field. Our thanks to Tim Taylor for running such a successful tournament and helping to raise FM's profile on the national junior scene.
  7. Racketball:
    This year racketball has continued to be consolidated as a preferred alternative to squash for a number of players and has continued to grow in popularity with a wider clientele. This year we saw the second of our annual racketball tournaments held in November 2011. Results were as follows:
    • Open: Rick Prior beat John McGrath
    • Handicap: Richard Hannuna beat Nedj Djemal
    • Open Doubles: Ron Raye and Chris Maher beat Paul Hensman and Peter Hughes
    Well done to everyone who took part ! A particular vote of thanks to Paul Hensman and Peter Karran for their organisation of the tournament. Thanks also for the efforts of Judy Williams for organising regular racketball evenings and Judy's sterling work in setting up and running the racketball leagues (now continued by Paul Hensman).
  8. Miscellaneous:
    Our squash event of the year was the International Exhibition match put on in September by Amr Shabana and Mohammed El Shorbagy (number 5 and 9 in the world respectively). This entirely self-financing event was initiated and organised by our Club Secretary Tim Sirry to whom we as a squash section owe a very large vote of thanks.

A recent movement of membership at Mill Hill SC saw nearly a dozen players from that club come to us over the summer and Autumn months. We are very pleased to welcome them.

External events hosted by FM over the past year include:

  1. Middx Junior Open (October; organiser Tim Taylor)
  2. Middx Senior Closed (January)
  3. ESR Coaching course (January; March)
  4. British Open Pre-Qualifying (scheduled April 2012; organiser Robin Mace)

Valediction

This will be the last report of the Squash and Racketball section written by me, as I will be stepping down now as Squash secretary. As voluntary tasks go, acting as secretary to the squash section at FM for the past twenty years or so has been - for the most part - a pleasure and a privilege, for over my time here FM has been represented at team level by some gifted and outstanding players. (A glance at our Honours board will bring to mind some of the fine players who have graced our courts over the years.) At the same time the squash section has grown in strength to run regular club nights, annual squash and racketball tournaments, a dozen or more box leagues, together with coaching programmes for juniors and seniors. We have also played host to many prestigious external events (not the least of which is the imminent British Open pre-qualifying tournament on 27-29 April). All of this has happened as a result of keeping our membership strong throughout the eighties and nineties when squash nationally was in decline and is now, once again, making progress as an unrivalled participator sport. I am very pleased to have played my own part, all be it a small one, in this continuing squash story at FM and I wish my successor, whoever that may be, a long and fruitful spell as the next squash secretary.

Barry Cullen, squash secretary, April 2012.


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