Fenland squash club aims for survival during Covid-19 pandemic and beyond

For one of Fenland’s sports clubs, it has been an uncertain few months, and now they are calling on residents to keep it going strong during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

March Squash and Racketball Club reopened their courts in July, as well as repainting and refreshing their facilities since lockdown began.

The club, which fields one team in Division One of the Cambridgeshire league plus winter and summer racketball leagues, has also received financial support in a bid to ease the burden of Covid-19.

“We have been fortunate to receive grants from both Fenland District Council and England Squash to help relieve the financial impact due to the club closure,” Adrian Powter, chairman of March Squash and Racketball Club, said.

“A major hurdle is that whilst we would like to return to full play and offer competitions and tournaments, current guidelines restricting play prevent this.

“However, we are reviewing our membership model so that we can encourage the local community to check out the sport without making an initial commitment to a membership fee.”

While no county league fixtures can take place, clubs can still play as part of ‘squash bubbles’ with matches increased to best of five in line with phase two of England Squash’s return to play guidelines.

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The Burrowmoor Road club has also linked up with Chatteris boxer Jordan Gill’s Next Generation scheme, which aims to help young people in the Fens improve their future opportunities.

By partnering with the scheme, it’s hoped March can continue to attract members to both squash and racketball as it bids to provide different opportunities for people wanting to get into sport.

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“We see Jordan’s foundation as very inspirational and we want to support these goals,” Adrian said.

“There is an understandable reticence to return to sport, especially in an enclosed space, but we have taken steps to minimise any risk both on and off the court so that our players have full confidence to return to playing at the club.

“The future of the club really is in the hands of the local community. We are a not for profit club and any funds are ploughed straight back into the club.”

Adrian added: “It is a sad fact that we are all getting older and without new blood coming in, the club may not be a part of March in the next decade.”

To join or for more information on the club, such as taster sessions, visit http://www.marchsquashclub.org.uk/.