Firstly to everyone, their families and loved ones best wishes for a highly successful, productive, fun-filled 2017. May you all enjoy good health and lots of squash.
- Squash South Africa welcomes Jacqui Fryer, who has joined the staff – we hope that she will enjoy the experience. Jacqui has already found out that playing squash is but a small cog in the gigantic wheel of squash administration.
- Squash South Africa has co-opted 3 members to the Executive: Willoughby Brits has a major interest in Strategic Planning as well as being Convenor of the SACD sub-committee; Graham Prior will have Coaching embracing both development and High Performance as his focus while Devan Currie, who also lives in Johannesburg, will represent the Refereeing sub-committee.
As always 2017 is jam-packed with junior and senior tournaments with Easterns kicking off the Junior tournaments with the Easterns Wilson Open from 20th-22nd January at the Boksburg and Sunward Park courts.
Please remember that 31st January is the closing date for:
- the Bloemfontein Open Junior Championships which had more than 450 entries in 2016.
- junior players to decide which age group they will participate in, in 2017.
- applications for the position of manager for the junior teams travelling away.
- registration with Squash South Africa of under 14,16,19 players at R120.00
Details for under 11, under 13 and development players is still required.
Please contact Mrs Swanepoel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Squash South Africa and S A Schools Squash are embarking on a series of regional “academies” to try and prepare the junior players more holistically than has been done before. The funding is from a Lottery allocation.
SWD with Jaco de Jager, Heleen de Jager, Roussow Willemse, Mikael Schabort started on 6th January with their programme and 26 juniors.
Eastern Province, co-ordinated by Estelle Thiel with Alan Stapleton, Jason le Roux, Greg la Mude and Bianca Brown were also busy from 5-8 January.
Cara Fourie, Christo Potgieter and Alwyn Venter are excited to have started their programme on 9th and 10th January with their North West provincial players.
13-15 January sees Graham Prior, Craig van der Wath, Mike Bester, Kyle Maree and Hannes Schoeman active in Johannesburg with players from Central Gauteng, Northerns and Easterns.
The following weekend players from Northern and Eastern Free State will converge on Bloemfontein where Margo Morgan is co-ordinating the programme. Keith Deutschmann (refereeing), coach Calvin Deutschmann, Stephen Walker (Sports Psychologist) and 2 other experts from the Free State Sports Science Institute will be in action.
Dates are still awaited from Kwazulu Natal, Western Province, Mpumulanga.
A National Academy will be held at the High Performance Centre, Pretoria from 27th April to 1st May for the top 5 ranked players in each age-group including some under 21 and under 23 players.
South Africa has always had the talent but there has not been a structured programme concentrating on personal practice discipline, fitness, nutrition, sports psychology to support the junior players who find the international arena daunting and very seldom survive beyond the second round.
There is no magic wand but hard work, commitment, dedication and focus from both the players and the support staff might lift that bar a little higher.
SRSA Development programmes
2017 will see 33 programmes undertaken with the welcome funding from SRSA.
Andre le Roux and Marjorie Smit will be organising a project for deaf learners from the De Le Bat School in Worcester while Sharon Sibanda will co-ordinate the programme in Soweto.
Women in Squash programmes will take place under the supervision of Siyoli Waters (Cape Town): Sharon Sibanda in the Inner City and Soweto: Estelle Thiel in Port Elizabeth: Charmaine Baker and Greg Akkers in Durban: Cara Fourie in Potchefstroom: Rennisha Larkin in Pietermaritzburg: Corlia Vlok in Paarl: Thelma de Jager in Soshanguwe, Tshwane.
The next focus is on Youth: Siyoli Waters and Rodney Durbach will be responsible in Cape Town: Corlia Vlok in Paarl: Estelle Thiel and Daryll Smith in Port Elizabeth: Timothy Leeuw and Johnny Munro in East London and Mthatha respectively : Rennisha Larkin in Pietermaritzburg: Paul Gouge and Dali Mahaye in Empangeni and Newcastle respectively: Sharon Sibanda in the Inner City and Soweto: Liz Mackenzie in Pretoria: Cara Fourie in Potchefstroom: John Lingashi in Nelspruit and Enrico Karels in Mpumulanga: Margo Morgan in Eastern Free State: Brendan Kretzman in Welkom: Chris Hughes with learners from the Thusong Centre, Alexandra.
Egoli Squash plans to host a Festival Day at the Gazankulu Primary School, Chiawelo, Soweto on 12th March when they open the second court at the school and also a computer room.
All the co-ordinators and coaches are sincerely thanked for their contributions and time which make these programmes such a success.
The contribution – enthusiasm, motivation, time, effort, going that extra mile, the smiles, the fun – of Angela Difford – will be sorely missed this year, not only by those in Eastern Province but by Squash South Africa.
Squash South Africa is celebrating 20 years of funding from SRSA this year and Angela – aptly described by Alan Stapleton in his “ Touched by an Angel” article was one of the first presenters/co-ordinators.
Quiet, humble Johnny Munro of Mthatha is the second presenter/co-ordinator who has been involved from the beginning. Johnny we salute you. Your involvement with the players
and the experiences you have given them in combining education (geography/history etc) with trips to tournaments can never be equated in monetary terms. Thank you.
Steve Coppinger, now based in Orlando, USA has moved up to 21 on the January PSA list.
Steve who has won the S A national title a record 8 times, first broke into the top 20 in April 2013 and has since oscillated between 14 and 24.
12th January sees him clash with 16th ranked Borja Golan (Spain) in the first round of the prestigious J.P.Morgan Champion of Champions Tournament played in New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
The women’s list sees 4 South Africans in the top 100: Siyoli Waters is at 55: Cheyna Tucker at 66: Milnay Louw at 78 and Alex Fuller at 83. Interesting – Waters, Louw and Fuller all from WP.
Four PSA events will be staged in RSA this year: 3-9 April West Rand PSA Open (Roodepoort): 9-15 April Parkview PSA Open (Parkview Club, Johannesburg): 21-28 April Keith Grainger Memorial PSA Open (Cape Town): 1-6 May Bull Ring PSA Open (Wanderers, Johannesburg).
We congratulate the Chair of Central Gauteng Squash, Barry Hendricks, on his election as First Vice-President of SASCOC at the Quadrennial Meeting at the end of last year.
It is the first time that a Squash Administrator has been elected to the Board. 2017 will definitely be a hectic year for him as he is also President of the Gauteng Sports Confederation.