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On the Spot

Added 01 Dec 2016 by GFORCE

                                                                                   On the Spot

At GFORCE teamwear we love to champion sportspeople up and down the country. Recently, we have been working with our GFORCE hero, Lea Van Der Zwalmen, who is also president of the University of Nottingham Squash Club to provide kit and sponsor two major tournaments she has been involved in. Here, in our ‘On the Spot’ Q&A feature, Lea gives us the lowdown on squash and the two big events she has recently organised.

        1.) Tell us what you love most about squash?

I love the thinking aspect of the game. Choosing to play the right shot at the right pace and the right moment is one of the most challenging yet most rewarding aspect of it.

        2.) How did you get involved in the sport?

I first hit a squash ball when I was about eight years old. I started playing with my dad who loved squash and discovered squash himself when he was at University in Belgium. He used to pick me up from school during lunchbreaks and we would have a game at least three times a week. I quickly got the hang of it and as a result got spotted by the county coach who started teaching me how to play.

        3.) How popular is squash now and how do far do you think it can go in the future?

Squash isn’t as popular as the other racquets sports such as Lawn Tennis, Badminton or even Table Tennis however I think squash has huge potential to becoming really popular. Not only has Squash recently been voted by Forbes Magazine as ‘healthiest sport’ but a company in Germany is trying to make Squash more interactive with the use of a projector, sensors and software on the front wall. (more info: http://interactivesquash.com/). This has proven to significantly increase participation rate in Germany and I believe that this technology could help improve participation rate across the globe, hence making the sport more popular. The ultimate objective is of course to include Squash in the Olympic program which would provide a significant boost to the squash community in terms of exposure.

        4.) What is your involvement in the sport now?

I have been playing for the University of Nottingham 1st team for two seasons now and I am proud to have contributed to the team’s victory in the National Championship last season. I am also currently the President of the University of Nottingham Squash Club.

        5.) Tell us about the events you are running?

I just organised two inaugural events last weekend for the opening of our brand new David Ross Sports Village - a graded tournament and a professional tournament. Even though the organisation of both events required much more effort and time that I imagined, it was an amazing experience to be able to organise such events from scratch. On the whole I think it went pretty well. We had positive feedback about the new courts and especially the glass court. The highlight for me was the exhibition match played by Peter Marshall (UoN Alumni & Former World No. 2) vs Mark Fuller. Peter just managed to squeeze a 2/1 over Mark but what a match it was! It was a real treat to be able to see Peter’s famous ‘double hand playing style’.

        6.) Why did you choose the David Ross Sports Village at Nottingham Uni to host them?

Hosting both events at the David Ross Sports Village was an obvious choice since the centre is brand new from September and we wanted to celebrate this special occasion. The David Ross Sports Village squash club include six glass back courts and an all glass court with 250 seats around which arguably is one of the best squash centre in England and in Europe. We are hoping that we will be able to make the most of these fantastic facilities by growing the $1000 PSA tournament that we just organised to a $5000 PSA Tournament next season and possibly even bigger in a couple of seasons. The ultimate objective is to host prestigious tournaments such as the British Junior Open and European & World Championship events.

        7.) How important is a sports centre such as this new one opening and how exciting is it to be able to play in brand new facilities?

We are extremely lucky to be able to train in world class facilities such as the ones we have at the David Ross Sports Village. Last season we only had access to three courts on campus as opposed to seven this season and this has obviously been a huge positive change for the UoN Squash Club. I believe that this brand new squash centre reinforces  our position as Squash Hub in the UK as well as in Europe. I don’t think there is any better place in the UK and in Europe where you can both study towards a quality degree from a top University recognised by many employers whilst playing Squash at the highest level possible. 

        8.) How important is it to have corporate support such as what you receive from GFORCE?

We are very grateful to have received the support of GFORCE for our graded and professional tournaments. When organising such events, the support of companies such as GFORCE is absolutely crucial and do make a huge difference for a university sports club with a tight budget and limited resources. GFORCE provided us with a quality t-shirt which was handed out to every participant. I was very happy with the service provided by GFORCE and I would definitely be looking to working with them again for future events.

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