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Threatened squash court in New Mills to host its first under 11s tournament

New Mills Squash Club has organised a junior squash tournament for players aged under 11. Eight young people will battle it out on the squash court to win the gold medal in this ‘Copper’ Tournament. Prizes include medals, sweets donated by Swizzels and squash equipment.

The tournament comes at a very uncertain time for the squash club - earlier this year High Peak Borough Council threatened the squash court with closure. Any final decisions are currently on hold pending a public consultation later this year.

Matthew Thomas, a junior squash coach at New Mills Squash Club, had the idea to organise the event: “We’ve got a thriving group of juniors here and it’s great to give them the chance to have a competitive tournament on their home court.  It’s a great opportunity to promote squash and show how much the juniors enjoy it”.

The children are really excited about the event. Leo Kitching, aged 10, is looking forward to playing his first tournament at home, after winning medals in Macclesfield and Bollington. He says: “I want to compete in the tournament because I like playing squash - it's really fun. I hope I'll be in the top three! I want the squash court to stay open because I love squash and want to be a professional squash player. I can't do that if I have to do a long drive each time I want to train”.

Earlier this year protesters showed their determination to keep the squash court open. Over 1000 people also signed a petition aimed at High Peak Borough Council. 

The council have not made their exact plans for the leisure centre publicly available. However it is understood that they intend to borrow 2.4 million to develop a new wellness centre, fitness studio and a gym extension. Sadly for lovers of sport in New Mills, this would involve removing the squash court and shrinking the sports hall to a size that prohibits a large number of team sports such as basketball, indoor cricket, five-a-side football and netball.

Matthew Thomas added: “We’re really pleased that the council have finally announced a consultation with the people of New Mills - I do hope that they are genuinely in listening mode. It’s surprising that it took them so long to decide to seek the views of real leisure centre users.

This tournament demonstrates just some of the wider enthusiasm for squash that exists in New Mills and beyond. If the council chooses to destroy the squash court there will be nothing like this again in New Mills. I’m making sure young people benefit from the squash court whilst they can.”


 

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