I was keen to write our 1st county blog and introduce myself, my vision and my reasons for getting involved with Lancashire junior squash.
I remember when I was growing up. I mainly played at Clayton Green Leisure Centre and later at David Lloyd in Chorley (where I am still based). I played because my dad played and he pushed me hard as a youngster. He is from an army background and he had high standards. I was good at trying to meet those standards. Some times in a way help me improve he would try and arrange matches v some of the men at Clayton Green. Not all of them were keen to play a 13/14/15year old girl. Especially when I was considered fairly talented but a bit “slow”. So sneakily he would arrange a match for himself and then send me in his place. It was a way for me to be pushed against a better opponent and normally the guys ended up happy as I provided them with a decent game!
From playing at Clayton Green I entered the junior county championships. When I started out it quickly became my goal to be the best in Lancashire and as my level improved we crossed the boarder to Yorkshire and aimed to become the best in the North. From there we travelled down south to try and test myself against the best in the country. There were plenty of knock backs, highs, realisations and learnings. All of which I learnt from and helped me grow as a person and as a player.
Coming back to Lancashire I was always really pleased and proud to represent the county. It had been where I started, where I’d set those first goals and where I had that 1st taste of competition. Lancashire back in the 90’s was extremely strong and it was a fight to get into the teams. Luckily I was always highly ranked and proud to pull on the dashing purple tracksuit, as it was back then!
From the juniors, I went on to represent the senior team and at one point we had Vicky Botwright, myself, Alina Helal, Helen Easton and Becky Botwright. Some team!
I have been so proud to be from Lancashire over the years and to represent Lancashire not only when playing for the county but in every major event I’ve played to be putting Lancashire and the North West on the map.
Now my playing career has come to an end it made complete sense to me to carry on that passion for Lancashire in a slightly different way. I want to help inspire, inject passion and provide enthusiasm to every junior within the county. I want them to access quality coaching and push to be the best level of player they can be. This is what excites me as well as giving back to the sport that has given me so much already.
I am pleasantly surprised by what I see in the county and I can’t wait to build on what’s there with the junior section.
As an update for those unaware, we had 4 juniors travel to America for the U.S junior Open. Saran Nghiem, Finn Withington, Charlie McCrone and Mia Leahey. What a fantastic experience.
When they returned home, Charlie and Mia went on to claim the U13 inter county title with fellow team mate Miriam Mulla. A fantastic team achievement and their 3rd in a row. Saran returned home and joined Rachael proctor and Kara Lawrenson in the U19 team who also won the inter county title. What a brilliant achievement to have within the county.
This weekend is the inter county senior championships and the juniors are looking to support the senior team with Kara and Saran representing the county in Sheffield this weekend and Finn representing the men’s team. We can’t wait to see how the teams go on and will be reporting the results on social media and the website.
Look forward to meeting you all soon if I haven’t already and getting to know our county players even more as the months go on.
I hope you’re all doing well at this tough time. Let’s make sure we all follow the advice and care for those around us by distancing ourselves from others and stay at home. It is the only way that is proven to stop the spread of the virus. The sooner we do this the sooner…
Train like a Pro with Laura Massaro Laura keeps us motivated! 💪 Head Coach Laura Massaro is taking over the England Squash Instagram account every Monday at 12.00 so you can join her to train like a pro! The sessions are running for 6 weeks with the aim to get you firing on all cylinders…