After what feels like an eternity, squash is finally returning to Ontario on July 16th and we couldn't be happier here at Control The 'T' Sports.
In light of the return to squash, we decided to write up a three-part series on why we love squash. This edition will be written by me (Alex), next week's will be written by Jeff (Control the 'T' Sports founder), and part three will be written by team member Trevor.
We all have pretty different backgrounds when it comes to our squash journey and experience. The sport means something a little bit different to each of us, and, in the spirit of the return to squash, it's the perfect time to reflect on our love for the sport...
If you're a regular reader of the our content, you'll know that I often mention that I'm actually from the UK. The squash scene here is pretty good and is growing fast too, seeing it change and evolve over the years has been incredible.
I started playing squash when I was around 8 years old, primarily because my older sister started playing and I was jealous that I didn't...
I'm now 23 and squash has really shaped the course of my life. Throughout my junior years, I definitely had the squash bug. I caught it almost instantly. I was playing whoever and whenever I could at my local club (Northern RFC).
I was also incredibly lucky to have a family who encouraged and supported me throughout my time as a junior. My mum would spend her weekends taking me around the country to different tournaments and training camps, thinking back I definitely took this for granted!
At these tournaments, I met so many people, many of whom I'm still very good friends with to this day. I met most of my current close friends through squash.
I also believe that playing squash at such a competitive level at a young age (and with so many new people) helped me grow and develop as a person.
I learned some harsh lessons in defeat and some encouraging lessons in improvement. I learned the importance of putting in maximum effort with both my training and my matches.
I believe that it's incredibly important to learn these skills and lessons at a young age.
In my later teenage years, I played for my county, my region, my high school, my university, and my local club's 1st team (a team I still play for to this very day). Pictured below is the Northern RFC team just after winning the league for the season back in 2014 (that's me in the middle).
Like many players I knew, I must admit that I played quite a lot less squash when I first joined university, it was no longer a priority anymore for me. I trained about once per week and only ever had around 6 matches a month (for the uni team and my club's team).
Looking back, I definitely lost a bit of interest which is a little sad to think about, but I think many squash players who have played for a very long time have those phases where they just need some time off.
However, things turned back around when I visited Canada...
For my third year of university I had to go work abroad somewhere as part of my degree, and, since I had family in Ontario, I decided to head there!
Long story short, squash was my first and best bet for making some new friends so I scoped out a few local clubs to where I was staying and Greystone Racquet Club (or Northfield Racquet Club when I was there) was by far the best option!
It was here I met Jeff and Trevor from Control the 'T' Sports and Jeff very generously offered me a job, fast forward a couple of years and I'm now back in the UK and still working with Control the 'T' Sports!
My trip to Canada showed me just how amazing the squash community is, I made a ton of new friends who I still keep in touch with, and, I got an awesome job in the squash industry which I love.
To sum up, squash has shaped my life far more than I used to acknowledge. It's great that things are starting to get back to normal and I can't wait for team squash and the more social aspects of the sport to return!
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