The Sports Academy 

What we are made up of









BACKGROUNDThe history of the Sports Academy

Originally, a group of young England squash players getting together to train, practice and help each other with their competitive ambitions. In the early days, quite a few international players joined in thrice-weekly sessions, some held at a rugby club ground in Surrey, others in Green Park in London. It was at the latter that would be World-class players often joined in the training, with names like Jonah Barrington, Heather McKay, Cam Nancarrow, Torsam Khan and many others, turning out to train.

By the mid-sixties, The Sports Academy had started inviting junior players to come for training and in the early 1970’s, young hopefuls from all over the UK, Sweden, Holland and Greece were arriving either on a daily basis or being contracted by National Associations to spend periods of up to four weeks training.

From 1971 until 2001, over twelve hundred young squash players had trained under The Sports Academy umbrella, in addition to some two hundred young tennis players. It was the squash side of The Sports Academy that had the most success, with some 10% of players moving on to play both junior age level and senior level International Squash.

As a consequence, The Sports Academy became a focus for the growth of squash facilities and through two associate companies – Town & Country Squash Clubs in Europe and Bicester Racket Sports in N.America – was responsible for the design, construction and in many cases the commercial management of over three hundred and fifty courts.

In 1983, The Sports Academy made its UK headquarters at The Copthorne Squash Club in Sussex. From there an impressive group of young players emerged, including twenty-one young players that played for England at different age groups. The most successful of these was Linda Charman (now Elriani) the UK National champion in 2005 and a proud holder of over fifty caps as an England player.

In April 2006, The Sports academy made The Pavilion at Hemingford its headquarters and refurbished the pavilion with the support of England Squash and Sport England and of course gifts from many of our members. The renovations included a new Bowls Club Room, a wonderful Exhibition Court that seats 125+ spectators in the Spectator area. A new pro-shop/office and a gym. In addition to this the three original courts have been completely renewed with a glass back wall added to court three, under floor heating on all courts and new Junkers Beech Flooring installed to give all courts the same playing characteristics. The locker rooms have been completely re-built and now compare well with any other facility in the area.

With a total tab of just short of £500,000 for the improvement of facilities, The Pavilion at Hemingford can now claim to be one of the best – if not THE best – Squash facilities of its size in the UK and is now home of the British U23 Squash championships.


CLASSESClasses at The Sports Academy

The Sports Academy Gym runs classes for every age, gender and ability. All of the classes can be found on our Events and Classes page which details the day, time and host of each class along with price. For more information on any of the classes provided by the Sports academy, please use the form on our Contact Page.

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