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45 years of Penrith Squash Club

It is 45 years since Penrith Squash first opened its doors to, what was then, an unbelievably popular sport which was sweeping right across the country.  ‘Anyone who was anyone’ was playing the game.

On the 31st October 1976, an official opening by the then Rugby Club President, Jack Todd, saw the start of a dedicated squash facility in Penrith and over a period of a few years the club went from strength to strength with membership soaring to well over 600.

Since then, Penrith Rugby Club (who originally financed the building of the courts) have continued to support the squash club by regularly investing in extra facilities, particularly in regard to new changing rooms and showers, a spectator viewing area, online booking system, biomass heating (a bit different from the early days when there was only one small electric heater per court) and an inviting entrance porch.

Although the sport has dwindled in popularity over time (there was once over 30 active clubs in Cumbria; now there are only seven) Penrith is now having a resurgence, with its highest number of members for over 15 years. It is believed that people are looking for something different to get them fit and squash fits that bill, it is for everyone (old and young) and it keeps you fit and healthy.

Club Chair, Chris Lilley comments “With the tremendous support of the rugby club over the last 45 years, we have a great energetic club with a policy of looking after our existing members as well as welcoming new ones. We offer new members starter coaching sessions and introduce them to leagues, teams, competitions and club nights, both squash and racketball. Our growing junior section is also becoming particularly successful, with six youngsters going onto the county junior development programme; we are also staging internal junior competitions for the first time in many, many years.”

If you know anyone who would like to try squash or racketball or get back to the sport, please contact Chris Lilley on 07740933989.

 

1976: (l-r) Jack Todd (Rugby Club President), David Cole (Hon Sec), Alec Bleasdale, Mrs Jameson, unknown, Albert Boak, Willy Mounsey, Ted Chappelhow, Jim Nicholson, Mrs Nicholson.

 

2021: (l-r) Charles Graves (Rugby Club President), David Cole, Ian Davidson, Dave Walker, David McGlasson, David Richardson, Geoff Matthews, Richard Utting & Chris Lilley (Squash Club Chair).  Note: Both David McGlasson & David Richardson are founder members of the club and are still active playing members.


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