The trust has welcomed a new partnership between the Pontefract Sports & Education Foundation (PSEF) and the Pontefract Squash & Leisure Centre (PSLC). Both have representation at Board level and have already introduced the development of pilot projects which are already successfully taking place. These include; squash academy schemes to target hard to reach children in sports and squash skills programmes for schools. Links with PSEF have opened up other networking and support channels which the Trust are exploring.
PSLC is now in a position, to offer a range of activities to schools which will include a variety of sports including squash, badminton, table tennis and cardio tennis.
Alongside the teaching room in the sports hall, we have developed a package of education and squash that has been piloted with 3 schools so far, supported by the England Squash grant this will continue to be improved and developed.
In addition to this, we can now offer a full programme to schools which includes the opportunity to learn new sports and activities to enhance hand/eye coordination, balance, spatial awareness and nutrition and well being advice for all ages.
We have a team of coaches all qualified with the sporting governing bodies who are all DBS checked.
PSLC is one of the leading squash clubs in the Country and has just been voted "Squash club of the year". We have players from all over the world training at the club on a regular basis. On a recent school visit, the Ladies world number 1 and 2 previous male number ones were at the club to meet the children who asked about their experiences etc. During all our previous school programmes all the children have had the opportunity to meet and interview some of the top players in the world.
England Squash and UK Deaf Sport have very recently provided PSLC with a grant to develop sports for people who are Deaf - one of only 5 clubs in the country to get this funding. The development of a sustainable programme of sports for deaf people, with the help of UK deaf sport is now well underway.
We also offer holiday camps for children aged 6 -16.
Halfpenny Lane Primary School was the first primary in Pontefract to trial the pilot squash academy schools programme. With experienced coaches Jayne and Alex, the cohort of pupils attended a 5-week course to explore coordination, balance, agility, ball skills, catching, the rules of squash and the basics of the sport.
Tamara from year 5 said, "The coaches are kind and fun. I like playing squash at the end of the session the best. I would love to play outside school hours and would recommend the sport to all my friends."
Aiden from year 5 added, "The coaches help you if you're struggling... I only learnt straight drives at first and am hoping to come down to try Sunday morning coaching."
The club is officially recognised as a Centre of Excellence and one of the few select clubs, which have been granted Gold Charter status by the sports governing body, England Squash.
The Coaching at the club is under the direction of Malcolm Willstrop who is acknowledged as one of the Worlds leading coaches. The coaching programme caters for all standards and ages and is accepted as one of the best in the country, attracting players from all over the world.
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