Squash on the rise in Gladstone with centre open every day
SURPRISED by the sheer number of kids turning up in the opening weeks of the 2014 squash season, Richard Williams was excited by the prospect and far from overwhelmed.
As Gladstone's premier coach, Williams has been building for a long time toward creating a fostering environment with a huge number of students, not expecting such a drastic improvement on last season.
In a year the sport achieved a number of firsts and boasted an impressive resume of talent, Williams rates bringing the game to Gladstone the biggest of all.
"Running our first junior tournament in Gladstone, all of those kids are still playing," he said.
"We are having two this year, we were asked to have an extra, they are later in the year."
With the growing interest in using the courts, Williams expected the squads he coaches to slowly rise in numbers, and the rise happened much quicker.
Nearly doubling immediately, the coach is ready for the challenge of advancing the kids games to tournament standard.
"We used to have 12 on a Wednesday, the encouraging thing is returning kids," Williams said.
"I have introduced Saturdays as well, I imagine some will come twice a week."
With the goal of creating a competition for the juniors to compete against each other in Gladstone, Williams needs simply to advance the players enough and retain a good number to implement such a scheme.
While some senior players are already competing locally, Williams is keen to see anyone who is interested in having a hit, believing it will not take long to be hooked.
"It is open everyday, come and have a go," said Williams.