Lavers change guard at squash centre
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
A CHANGING of the guard has occurred at Laver's Squash Centre where, for the first time in 42 years, the facility will not be managed by a member of the Laver family.
Brian Jarvis, who is leasing the centre from Trevor and Betty Laver who retain ownership, began managing the day-to-day affairs of the centre on January 10.
Betty Laver said it was the end of an era and one which had provided precious memories.
'Since 1963 squash has been our life and we enjoyed it very much,' Betty said.
'We built three courts in 1963 when we were in partnership (with Don Booth and Rod Laver) and then bought it in our own right in 1970 and built two more courts in 1972.
'When we started with three courts we didn't even know how to play squash.''
However, fact-finding trips to Rockhampton and Bundaberg centres soon had the Lavers up to speed and before long they were among the best players in Central Queensland.
Betty admitted she would miss the family's direct involvement in managing the centre (daughter Sue Davis, son Michael Laver and daughter-in-law Julie Laver shared management duties during the past 10 years).
However, she said Jarvis would revitalise the complex.
'Hopefully, he'll change a few things which will be for the best,' she said.
'He'll have ideas he wants to bring in.'
Jarvis, who originally hails from Lismore and has coached in Emerald and Blackwater, has a 1999 NSW coach of the year hon-our to his name among a swag of other awards.
He plans to increase the number of participants in competitive and social fixtures and introduce a Wednesday night indoor rebound volleyball competition.
Jarvis was already pleased with his move to Gladstone. 'I knew it was a good club,' he said.
'I'd met a lot of their players who go around supporting other centres' tournaments.
'Normally when you have that happening, it's the basis for a good club.
'It's a nice town, there's always something to do. I'm really enjoying it.'