Jason joined Leamington with a mandate to improve the Squash coaching, but his enthusiasm and outreach programmes have surpassed all our expectations” said Neil Staunton, Chairman of the club. Jason set himself the personal challenge of getting some unlikely groups of people to try squash or racketball just once. He says “Everybody should give it a go because so many people instantly love it! Some of the children I visit in schools with my make-shift squash court have never heard of the game but they really enjoy it and want to come along again”.
Children from local schools including Trinity, Brookhurst, Milverton and Arnold Lodge are now regulars at the club where junior membership has increased by 100%. As well as the obvious physical health benefits, squash and racketball helps to improve cognitive abilities and personal confidence that comes from mastering a new skill.
As well as schools, Jason has visited community groups, and some over 50’s groups. Jason leads Racketball sessions that are a bit easier to get into than Squash, but a great way to stay fit and have fun for older recruits! The Club has seen an 18 % increase in members playing since he started two years ago.
Through his work, Jason aims to reach all groups in our community including the young, underprivileged, physically impaired, the elderly and also reach out to ethnic minorities. He explained “Squash has always been a big part of my life. I was introduced to it by my dad and things got very competitive between me and my younger brother! As well as playingthe local club became a centre for my social life”. As well as hoping to see the Leamington club expand and build more courts due to the increasing demand in squash and racketball, Jason's ambition is to develop the youngsters abilities by creating a centre of excellence to drive higher national rankings, which offers our younger members the unique chance to become professional sports people and experience a higher quality of life.
We think we’re lucky to have such a young, passionate sports leader inspiring everyone to take up squash or racketball and we’re delighted to award him our Local Sporting Hero award for May 2014. Why not take up Jason’s challenge and give it a go yourself? We have an open day at Leamington Tennis & Squash, Guys Cliffe Avenue on Saturday the 14th June from 3pm - 5pm, where anyone can have a go at Tennis, Squash and Racketball. There will be a BBQ and drinks provided to welcome visitors.