There are loads of programmes and opportunities for juniors starting out in Squash in Marlborough – particularly at the MCOB club – right on the school grounds of MBC. Here’s what we have on offer:
Jacks Junior Coaching (New Players)
Players learn the fundamentals of squash - how to play, how to safely swing the racket and hit the ball, how to move on court and how to keep themselves and their opponent safe on the court (calling ‘lets’).
Jack can supply rackets to use if players don’t have one and will supply balls and the occasional sweet treat to keep motivation high!
Junior Development Squads
A natural progression for players after a few terms of coaching with Jack – the squads are eight weeks of coaching after school with club coaches.
A development space to prepare players for secondary school tournaments, interclub and club tournaments. Designed for all levels of player to help integrate them into school squads and build friendships with other players at their age group/playing ability.
Cost is $80 per player for the term
Thursday Nght Social Draw
A 30 minute social game, played on Thursday nights – for seven weeks, every term. Draws are organised by playing ability, so games are fun and even for players. Social night is a fantastic opportunity for Juniors to mingle with their peers and also with the older players. They will learn positive court etiquette, how to ref and score a social game and a little bit of club pride.
Anyone can enrol in social squash but priority on the draw is given to members. Members can register and play for free, and non-members pay $20 for the whole seven weeks.
Played on Tuesday and/or Wednesday nights (depending on draw sizes each term), Interclub games are graded, and results are loaded onto the National iSquash grading list. Interclub is a wonderful way for juniors to experience a competition game against their peers and players from other clubs – without the expense of travelling! They will learn how to ref and score a competitive game and competitive game sportsmanship and etiquette.
Interclub is played at both the MCOB and MSRC (Stadium) clubs and players must be a member of one of the clubs and entered onto the iSquash grading list to take part. It is $25 per person to play for the whole term (usually six or seven weeks long).
Junior Under 900 Series Events
Eight events spaced throughout the year; these events are mini tournaments for junior players with less than 9oo points on the grading list. A good opportunity to play and ref their peers in a competitive setting. Played on a Sunday morning – players collect points at each event they play and their total points at the end of the series is how they rank – so players who play them all have a higher chance of placing in the top spots and will receive prizes at the end of the series.
Cost is $10 per player and players are split into small round robin groups to play other players similar in ability.
Unlike social, interclub, and coaching – there is no commitment to play all of the events – players can just play the dates that suit them or that they are available for and pay on the day. Each event finishes around lunch time and a pizza lunch is provided for all players as well as tea, coffee and snacks for parents – we encourage parents to stay and support their kids and socialise with club members and the parents of other players.
Squash is a winter sport, so the majority of local, regional and national tournaments occur between March and October. Each of the clubs in Marlborough will hold an ‘Open’ that any graded player in New Zealand can enter and in August, Squash Marlborough holds a Marlborough Junior Open that anyone in NZ can enter – but is mostly attended by junior players from the top of the south, Kaikoura, and West Coast – so it gives our locals some variety in competition.
Each club also holds a ‘Club Champs’ weekend that is only for club members to take part in.
Tournament costs can vary between $30 and $45 but the cost will be advertised on each event poster and on iSquash.
** It is really important to note that all Junior players 18 years of age and younger must wear protective eyewear when on court, whether supervised or unsupervised and regardless of grading and ability.
At MCOB our membership year starts on the 1st of April and finishes on the 31st of March of the following year.
As well as allowing free access to the social club events held during the year, becoming an MCOB member is handy for MBC students as it also gives them access to the club 24/7 (including during the school day).
We have some rules around the access to the club during school lunch breaks etc (such as only members can access – they can not bring in non-members) and junior members only have access to the courts, bathrooms, lockers, and corridors around the courts when there is no club run event happening.
We believe that Juniors are an extremely important part of our club’s future, so we have a dedicated Junior Representative on our Committee (Jack Frisken) and two Junior Coordinators (Ben Rush, Wade Spragg). All three reps keep our juniors informed and engaged in coaching and events throughout the year and supply valuable feedback to our committee from our junior players.
We have multiple ways of communicating with our members and other clubs around New Zealand, including social media. The majority of our members now stay informed through the emails we send out and through our club Facebook and Instagram pages which are consistently popular with our junior players. Both sites are monitored to ensure only positive and appropriate content and comments are posted; and encourage everyone to interact with the club and other players through these sites.