“The pros on tour as well as recent retirees from the professional circuit have been excited about what’s happening in Australia” exclaims Frankcomb. “We’ve seen a surge in the number of applications from all over the world for positions available with the Academy, but the buzz goes beyond that.” Frankcomb explains, “Pro players, coaches and aspiring future champions see the grass-roots enthusiasm of the Sydney/Australian community on social media and online squash discussion boards.”
Admittedly, this feedback was bolstered by the large Australian contingency of attendees at the TOC in New York from Sydney’s Willoughby and Bondi Waverley Squash Clubs – 13 people travelled to the event as part of the Academy’s International initiative to expose local players to the global squash “scene”.
“We endeavour to strengthen the squash community by organising the opportunity for junior and senior members to travel and compete in both local and international squash events” Frankcomb states. “Successful trips have included The Bega Open (NSW), The City of Clarence Open (TAS), The Australian Open (VIC) and recently The Tournament of Champions in New York.”
Fuelling this buzz was the announcement that the East Coast Squash Academy secured former World #3, Madeline Perry, as the Academy’s Head Professional.
Perry joins the Academy after playing full-time on the WSA/PSA tour for the past 17 years. Perry represented Ireland in 5 Commonwealth Games and is the most successful squash player in history of Ireland Squash. She has won 13 World Tour Titles and was ranked within the top 10 WSA players for over 10 consecutive years. Perry retired from the professional world tour in the middle of 2015.
Sydney squash has been very dynamic over the past few years but it’s in large part due to strong advocates of the sport. “Peter Aitken’s tireless enthusiasm and promotion of squash at the social, pennant and tournament levels at Willoughby Squash Club has contributed to the foundation of Sydney squash for the past decade. The Academy would not be here today without his support and dedication to the local and national squash community" states Frankcomb.
“The positive support for what we’re doing is amazing. We’re getting emails from parents, kids and adults of all ages who feel the resurgence of the sport, confirming that the momentum is building as well as player (ranking) results improving” adds Aitken. “Aaron’s love and passion for the game has clearly contributed towards the growth and success of the Willoughby Squash Club community. I believe he has affected positive change to the development of squash and I am excited to see this continual growth for the sport we all are so passionate about.”
The East Coast Squash Academy:
Founded in 2011 when Aaron Frankcomb retired from the Professional Squash Tour, the East Coast Squash Academy set out to create a business model to expand the presence of squash within local communities surrounding squash centres. The first installation was at Willoughby Squash Club where Frankcomb was hired as the club’s resident squash pro.
Since inception, the Academy has produced some stellar results including: Attracting a handful of junior players with aspirations of going on the professional (PSA) tour. Its junior program has the biggest contingent of players on the NSW Squash Junior ranking list, with players on the NSW junior state teams, Australian junior teams and Australian senior players. The Academy has developed NSW and Australian Junior Champions.
The Academy is home base to two full time senior players that have reached careers highs of top 240 in the world on the Men’s PSA Tour. Its best female professional reached a top world ranking of 130.
The junior program now boasts over 500 children participating in weekly squads and training sessions. Memberships and participation in squads have increased by 100% and 300% respectively and tournament registrations are at an all-time high.
The Bondi Waverley Squash Club is the second squash club to join the Academy, in 2014.
Tel: 0424 474 001
Facebook: East Coast Squash Academy
Aaron Frankcomb was ranked in the top 100 professional squash players for 8 years, 4 years in the top 50, winning 3 PSA titles. He represented Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, was a Junior Champion in all age groups including 2 times in the Under 19 category and holder of scholarships in the Tasmanian and Australian Institutes Of Sport. He now coaches professionally and remains Sydney’s top ranked squash player and is still considered within the top 5 players in Australia.
Tel: 0424 474 001
Facebook: Aaron Head Pro WilloughbySquash
Willoughby Squash Club
Willoughby Squash Club has been Sydney’s premier squash club for over 30 years. Boasting 10 singles courts and Sydney’s only regulation championship sized doubles courts. Willoughby is also a site for Australia’s #1 squash store, with the largest selection of squash racquets, shoes, and accessories; the club also has an onsite restringing service.
(a) 443 Willoughby Road, Willoughby NSW 2068
Bondi Waverley Squash Club
Bondi Waverley is a member-run club located in the heart of Bondi Junction. A beautiful four-court centre and bar, Bondi Waverley Squash Club has entered teams in Sydney’s pennant competition for over 40 years. In addition to courts, the club is also available for functions in the spacious bar and lounge, with pool tables and poker machines. The club is now the second location for East Coast Squash Academy and hosts annual tournaments as well as regular programs for all skill levels and age groups.
(a) 8 Denison Street, Bondi Junction NSW 2022