The Veterans Squash Rackets Club of Great Britain

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 I am delighted to report that your club is in good heart. Our finances are stable with a strong balance sheet. We continue to make encouraging progress in both our membership numbers and our outreach to all parts of the United Kingdom. We have recently had new members join from as far afield as West Yorkshire and Plymouth! We would be delighted to have more contact with Scotland and Wales.

There was a significant rule change at the AGM in April, when the members voted overwhelmingly to reduce the eligible age for joining the GB Vets from 45 to 40 for men and 40 to 35 for ladies. This enables us to extend membership to a wider range of players who may not aspire to play at County and Masters level, but do want to continue to play in an active middle age and beyond! We have already extended the range of categories in our popular Club Tournament to include “non-County players” with great success; we will continue to widen this initiative.

We are, however, still struggling to add new friendlies to our fixture list, although we have succeeded in reenergising some previous favourites. This year has also seen further strengthening of the traditional weekends in Ireland and York; the Festival of Squash, which has now become a popular annual event in November, has joined these. There are areas, however, that we still retain ambition to move forward on- they include the strengthening of the game (including doubles) outside of the South East, and overseas tours.

We were delighted that a number of our members played in the 2016 World Masters in South Africa. We congratulate all the players and especially mark the achievements of Karen Hume, Adrian Wright and Malcolm Gilham who won Gold medals. Congratulations also go to all our members who continue to excel in Regional and National Masters events.

There are, however, clouds on the horizon. The sport that we all love is in decline, with the ability of the current England Squash organisation to move squash forward at all levels increasingly in doubt. Your Committee will continue to monitor the situation in the coming months. We have had a number of informal discussions with members of the Masters’ Committee and will continue to do so. We will look to play an active role in defending and developing the Masters/Veterans game for the future.

Do please encourage new players to join. All standards are welcome and will be catered for. Please download an application form from our website and pass it on to potential members.
Your Committee is always working hard to find new blood and energy to run the GB Vets. So please volunteer if you are able to help in any way, perhaps by joining our Committee, arranging matches, tours or, indeed, in any way you are willing to contribute to the further development of our Club.

There is much to look forward to with the British Open Masters at Colets Club on 6th-11th June, the York Tour in July, the European Masters in Poland in August and the 5th Annual Festival of Squash at the RAC Woodcote Park, Epsom in early November.

Have a great summer, keep fit and continue to enjoy your squash!

Tom Hendry