Sguais Uibhist - East Camp, Balivanich
A community run squash club
We have renovated the old RAF squash facilities at East Camp. We now have a nice, bright, warm court with changing rooms and great shower facilities available for the community. For the past 12 years, the nearest publicly available squash facilities have been in Portree and Stornoway.
An Caladh (charitable organisation supporting people struggling with addiction) kindly gave us permission to renovate the building and to use it for our club. Without their support, the project would never have gotten off the ground.
After a round of fundraising, we were awarded a large Scottish Landfill Community Fund grant from An Treas Roinn Innse Gall as well as grants from our local councillors, Sealladh na Beinne Mòire and Benbecula Community Council. We have also secured sponsorship from Voove, a local business. We are really grateful for all of this support from local organisations.
We have also had support from Scottish Squash, helping us with advice and providing us with league software and buildings insurance, and the Highlands and Islands Squash Association, who have generously donated a great deal of equipment for coaching and for introducing beginners to squash and racketball.
After work by contractors and volunteers, the club has been up and running since September. To date about 45 adults and about 15 juniors have played on the court. We are keen to recruit as many new players as possible and would encourage anyone interested to come along and try it out.
Every Tuesday 5.00-8.00, we run weekly drop-in squash sessions, where people can turn up individually, without booking a court, to play some friendly games. Players are welcome to turn up whenever they like for as long as they like, although it is restricted to 16+. Cost is £4 per person.
We run a friendly squash league to provide a way for players to meet people of a similar standard to themselves. Currently there are 22 players signed up to our leagues.
We have plenty of rackets and balls which have been donated to the club which are available for people to try out squash (and racketball).
Our court is available for credit card bookings 24 hours a day Monday - Saturday, via our online booking system. See our website for details: http://sguais.net. We can also be found on twitter (@sguibhist) and facebook (@sguais)
Informal coaching for beginners is available on request. Just get in touch with us. (note that we are not set up to coach children alone: our management committee does not yet have a child protection officer in place).
Squash is a high-energy sport, it's fun, great exercise and is well insulated from the weather! It is an ideal activity for these islands now that the nights have drawn in.