The Commonwealth Games starts next month in Delhi India. One of the sports where England is tipped to win a gold medal is squash as English players occupy 4 places in the world’s top 10. Peter Nicol the champion from Melbourne 2006 has retired so England is looking to world number 2 Nick Matthew to continue the success and win gold.
But squash is not just played by the elite, players of all standards enjoy the fun and competitive game of squash. In fact Forbes magazine rated squash as the healthiest sport based on six key criteria including muscular endurance and calories burnt per hour. Racking up several miles on a treadmill may be great for cardiorespiratory health, it does nothing for the upper body and can wreak havoc upon joints. Weight training may promote muscular strength, but it has a limited effect on the most important muscle of all, the heart. And while swimming seems to be everyone’s ideal activity for the total-body workout, it won’t melt many calories without hard-won and proper technique. Unlike those other sports squash exercises the whole body, burns calories and a game can be played in just 30 minutes.
At Nuffield St Albans their recent £2.2m refurbishment included an upgrade of the 6 squash courts, three of which are glass-backed. Squash players of all standards are welcome with coaching and guidance available from the club coach John Milton. Club nights and junior mornings are held regularly for those who want to meet and play other squash players. For more competitive players internal leagues and team matches are available and the club enter teams in the Hertfordshire Mens and Ladies Squash Leagues. This summer has been particularly successful for the Mens teams at Nuffield. The first team won the Herts Squash Division 3 title, clinching victory by just one point ahead of Royston. Team captain Ian Ford said “it was a superb effort from all the squad members who played this season and with only one point separating top from second everybody’s contribution across the 16 games proved vital.” The second team, competing in Herts Div 4 managed to gain promotion by finishing second just 8 points behind winners North Herts. This was a superb team effort and showed the strength in depth in the team.
Lesley Garner, the Nuffield manager who runs squash at the club added “The teams have done well this summer and it is great to see a trophy coming back to St Albans.” Lesley added “We organise many squash events and anyone who wants to try or get back into squash should pop in and see us for a free trial. Our Saturday morning junior sessions are particularly popular and we cater for the absolute beginner through to county standard juniors.” Lesley and the Nuffield team can be contacted on 01727 816161.
Article published St Albans local press September 2010 – Author Nick Boardman