Walking Squash at the Village!

Hertfordshire’s first ever walking squash tournament held recently at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield proved to be a huge success.

Amongst the 16 participants with a combined age of over 600 years were 2 septuagenarians, 4 ladies making their squash debut and a 21-year-old student who was walking past the court on his way to the gym when he got roped in to make up the numbers for a balanced draw!

The eventual winner was 68 years young Peter Simmons of Stevenage, with the most improved player award going to University of Hertfordshire employee, Maylani Appasamy. Jon Wood picked up the oldest competitor award, donated by tournament sponsors, the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership.

The Partnership’s Director, John O’Callaghan was one of the participants – losing all 6 matches – in a tournament organised as part of May Walking Month linked to the Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity 2018 campaign.

Commenting on the tournament O’Callaghan said:

“We were delighted with the turnout for this programme and my sincere thanks go to Tom Horey, the tournament organiser; to the Hertfordshire Sports Village for the use of their superb facilities; and to all those that took part. It was a great occasion with some exceptional squash action, played under modified rules designed to accommodate those with limited mobility, due to age or injury.

Whilst most of the competitors were there simply for a bit of social sport and the craic, in novices Kelly Fagan, Amelia Hall and Alex Varran we may well have unearthed some real squash talent that with practice, could be a force in local competitive squash leagues.

For those of us getting on in years, or with restricted movement due to injury, walking squash is a great way to keep fit and it provides  a much needed release valve for that competitive edge which, in my experience, never leaves you. I would commend it to anyone that is up for trying something different. This format of the game caters for all ages, sizes, and abilities and the lack of previous experience need not a barrier to giving it a go”

Further details of the walking squash programme at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, available from John O’Callaghan at j.d.ocallaghan@herts.ac.uk.

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