One of the hardest areas to maintain sustained growth in any country is in the junior programs. The pandemic has had a huge impact on our sport and particularly our junior programs. We have seen a really positive return to our junior squads but there has been a small drop in numbers. It is now vitally important that we work hard to build our programs back up and get more young people onto squash courts!
Avon squash have always been hugely supportive of junior squash in the county as they recognise it is the future of our game. To support coaching programs across the county on their return to squash Avon have offered small grants to help fund assistant coaches. To operate a great session you need the correct player to coach ratio, this can sometimes be financially tough on coaching teams if the numbers aren’t where they need to be.
At Lansdown Bath and Workout Harbourside Avon have funded our young assistant coaches wages for the remainder of the summer term. This has given us the ability to run great sessions without the financial pressure.
In Bath John has taken on one of our top young Junior players Marcus Wales to assist me with our Saturday morning squads. He is a recent graduate of the England Squash level 1 coaching course and this is his first steps into coaching! This funding has meant he is able begin his journey as a young coach and for me to have an assistant when running our squads. Having a top young junior to help inspire the younger players is a great asset as well.
The Sunday Minis group in Bristol has had a large influx of girls and Seamus Singh has recruited a young 2nd year student from UWE to work with the girls. Ceri Burgis is a Level 2 coach, and she has represented Wales at Junior level and is the current President of UWE Squash. Ceri joins Fin Mcmanus, 2nd year student from Bristol Uni and Level 2 coach, who joined the programme earlier this year. Both have made a big impact on the youngsters and love working with them.