Scottish Squash Rackets Club commitment to putting members at the heart of everything they do has paid dividends as the club continues to go from strength to strength.
The Glasgow club was named Scottish Squash Club of the Year 2021/22, recognising years of hard work at all levels within the club.
In that time, player numbers have more than doubled, and even the impact of Covid couldn’t stop this momentum.
Club Chairperson Hakim Din said: “After Covid we wanted our members to return to play squash and make sure it was affordable, so we kept prices the same and even offered subscription payments back to the loyal members who helped support the Club throughout the pandemic.
“We arranged social nights and Squash evenings to encourage members to pick up a racket again, and to do so within the guidance issued by Scottish Squash.
“And as a result and over time our membership has increased.”
The recent rise in membership has been driven in part by an increased focus on squash for all.
At the heart of the Maryhill club’s ethos is a desire to welcome everyone, and to have the opportunity to meet others.
Hakim said: “We have a friendly core of people who meet with potential new members and take them round the club and introduce them to other club members.
“The Club helps to organise games with other members until they get to know people and find out what level they’re playing at.
Founded in 1934, the club has been a mainstay of the community for close to 90 years, and they are3 keen to use this status to make a difference.
The club has worked closely with Rangers Football Club to teach some of their most promising young players the basics of squash.
And local schools are regularly invited to coaching sessions, often serving as a first introduction to the game for local youngsters.
In recent years, close to 150 children from eight local primary and secondary schools have taken part in sessions at SSRC.
Hakim said: “We teach the children the basics of squash as well as making it enjoyable”.
“We have four courts, so we can split them up to give them lots of time on court.
“Before they arrive at the club, the Club’s main coach Dave Sturman will go along to the school and explain what’s going to happen, so that they come to the club knowing what they will be doing.”
Local university and college students are also welcomed along to the club, with one year of free membership offered to graduates to encourage them to stick with the game after their studies.
All money received by the club is reinvested to ensure that members have access to the highest quality facilities.
For example, in recent years the roof has been replaced, more efficient lighting systems have been installed and every year court maintenance is carried out.
Members at the club are also keen to volunteer and help with maintenance of the club.
Hakim said: “The greatest thing about the club is it’s not left to the Committee to do things.
“People will approach us and say, ‘we’d like to help out, can we do this?’, which is fantastic.
“We have had people offer to help in improving the club for example power washing the showers and painting the outside walls when it doesn’t look clean.”
Looking ahead, and with one eye on the club’s centenary year in 2034, the aim is to build on the hard work in recent years.
Hakim said: “Our philosophy has always been to give players the best atmosphere and courts.
“We want to make sure that everyone enjoys playing and has the opportunity to get to know lots of people at the club.”