HISTORY

  • The Sports Academy was founded in 1962 as group of young England squash players getting together to train, practice and help each other with their competitive ambitions. In the early days international players attended sessions in Surrey or 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 and Torsam Khan involved.
  • By the mid-sixties The Sports Academy had begun inviting junior players to come for training and by the early 1970’s, players from all over the UK, Sweden, Holland and Greece were attending for periods of up to four weeks of intensive training.
  • From 1971 until 2001, over twelve hundred young squash players had trained under The Sports Academy, in addition to some two hundred young tennis players. It was the squash side of The Sports Academy that had the most success, with many players moving on to play both junior and senior at international level.
  • As a consequence, The Sports Academy became a focus for the growth of squash facilities and was responsible for the design, construction and in many cases the commercial management of over three hundred and fifty courts across Canada and North America.
  • In 1983, The Sports Academy made its UK base 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): UK National champion in 2005 and a proud holder of over fifty England caps.
  • In April 2006 The Sports Academy made The Pavilion in Hemingford Grey its new base, and was instrumental in the refurbishment of Hunts County Squash Club and The Pavilion with the support of England Squash, Sport England and of course gifts from many of our members. The renovations included a new Bowls Club Room, an additional exhibition court with a 125+ capacity, new pro-shop/office area and a gym. In addition to this the three original courts were completely renewed with a glass back wall added to court three, under floor heating and new flooring installed in every court. The changing rooms were also completely refurbished to complete the development programme and create the best club of its size in England.

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