New Terrace squash court opens at Summit Square Apartments

For the first time in years, squash players will be able to play on weekends in Terrace

The Terrace Racquets Association is opening a new squash court in Terrace this weekend, giving players a court space for the first time in nearly one year.

But more than that, the court will be open on weekends and later in the evenings — a thrilling change for players who have never had that option in town.

“It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Steve Hawyes, a local squash player who spear-headed the opening of the new court. “It will give us so much more flexibility.”

Racquets association president Jill Pimlott agreed, saying having courts open seven days a week will make a huge difference for the club.

“People just want to play a game after work, or on a Saturday morning,” she said, and now they can.

For years, squash and wally ball players have only had the Northwest Community College courts to play on, which were closed weekends and by 8 p.m. most evenings due to college schedules.

And for the past year squash players have not had anywhere to play locally due to renovations at the college trades building, where the courts are located. They have had to travel to Kitimat or Prince Rupert to play.

And when the college building closed, the club didn’t even know whether courts would re-open at all. They were on the hunt for courts in town, even considering building some, when they came across an option at Summit Square Apartments.

The southside buildings had two old racquetball courts, which hadn’t been used in more than 25 years and were stuffed with junk.

When Hawyes and Graham Palmer heard about it, they began hatching plans to clean and fix up the space.

Framing a deal with Summit Square Apartments, they rallied roughly 20 volunteers from the racquets association to clean up and renovate the courts. Pimlott estimated 15 people joined the workbees.

“The real die-hard, ‘oh my gosh, I need to play squash, I can’t drive out to Kitimat’ folks were quite involved,” she laughed, noting the Hawyes family were definitely key players. (They were highly competitive squash players in South Africa before moving here two years ago.)

The renovations included a big cleanup and fresh paint, as well as construction of an attractive little viewing area to shorten the court to squash regulation-size.

Members hit the court for a soft-opening last Sunday, Jan. 21, but they’ll mark the official opening with a doubles tournament this Saturday, Jan. 27.

Aside from that, the courts will have an online booking system and will be open to members only.

That’s because of liability and for ease of management, since the courts won’t be staffed but will just have an access code or key for members.

Hawyes says drop ins will be allowed once or twice to try out the sport, but members will have unlimited access to book the courts.

The club hopes to expand into running regular training programs, hosting tournaments, and possibly running a league in the future.

For now they’re partnering with Centennial Christian School to offer training for students.

“We love it!” said Hawyes. “We’re passionate about the game, and we really believe squash is going to take off like it does in big cities,” he said. “You just need to have it managed and organized.”

The second court at Summit Square is still full of junk, and the club plans to tackle that this summer.

“We’re learning as we go along,” said Pimlott of court management and events.

“The majority of our members, we’re all friends, so people will let us know when we’re doing things right and when we’re not. We’ll do our best to change and grow as we go.”

For more, find Terrace Racquets Association on Facebook, email tra.executive@gmail.com, or call Jill at 250-975-1213.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Pool opening further delayed

A deficiency in the tile works has setback its completion, city says

Terrace fire ban now includes Ferry Island

The ban will be in place until further notice

Four Rivers Co-op collecting donations for wildfire relief

The co-op is matching all donations they receive for the Red Cross

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Most Read