SQUASH exploded into popularity back in the 1980s and the game continues to thrive and nowhere more so than at Solihull Arden - officially the best squash club in England.
The club recently won that accolade thanks to its superb facilities including new changing rooms, courts and community programme that seeks to bring in players of all ages and abilities.
The results have been spectacular with four players in the top 20 in England and the five courts thrumming with 16 squash leagues.
However squash chairman Nigel Orrett is quick to point out that the way people play the game nowadays means that it no longer leaves a trail of broken bodies behind it.
“Squash used to be a hard man’s game but in the modern age people are much more aware of the health issues and the importance of warm ups and warm downs. We have our own coaches including head coach Andy Warmington plus the equipment these days is so much better.”
If the thought of squash is still too much, the club also runs 12 leagues of racketball, a less intense and more social form of the game played with larger rackets and ball.
Arden also has a fully equipped gym run by instructor Matt Dunford and physiotherapist Louise Evans plus a studio for events like zumba classes and a bar for that important post match drink.
“Our next phase is to go further out into the community,” said Orrett, “to engage with businesses and to make a greater impact in north Solihull.”
A mark of the club’s success, together with its neighbour West Warwicks, is that both clubs have been helping to co-host the 2012 World Masters Squash Championships with the University of Birmingham.
Arden Squash Club is based with Arden Tennis Club off Sharmans Cross Road and squash membership, including use of the gym, costs £34.75 a month for adults with cheaper rates for people under 20. For more details call 0121 704 9451.