Aaron Frankcomb, Founder and Managing Director of The East Coast Squash Academy reveals “Having been on the professional squash tour for 10 years and having grown up in several local clubs as a junior player in Tasmania, I know first-hand how important it is to have support from local club owner-operators.”
Admittedly Frankcomb is biased towards the two clubs where the Academy operates – Willoughby Squash Club and Bondi Waverley Squash Club, but he’s also respectful of clubs who have it hard with increasing rents, utility fees and on-going maintenance fees.
“What isn’t seen by many is the amount of upkeep a club needs on an on-going basis – way beyond the cleaning of the floors, maintenance of the walls and lights…” reveals Frankcomb. “There could be outdoor landscaping, cleaning of common areas including parking areas, stocking of the food and retail areas, stringing of rackets, painting of the walls, replacement of the lights and many leasehold improvements and the list goes on and on.”
The Academy is active in the local squash community with sponsored programs and activities with the proactive participation of local clubs, many which are owner operators. These grassroots initiatives include after-school programs to expose more kids to our great sport. Unprofitable as standalone projects, the investments are made with a win-win-win long term approach. The first winners are the kids who get to experience squash for the first time. The second winners are the squash club(s) who get new members and players. The third winner is The Academy who gets new participants for its junior development programs.
“We must never forget the priceless contribution made by parents and siblings” adds Frankcomb. “Without a family’s support, a potential elite or professional squash player doesn’t stand a chance. I remember my father driving 100+ kms back-and-forth so I could have a hit with good opponents or compete in tournaments. All those sacrifices make a difference and add up.”
Frankcomb reflects on his career as a junior and professional player with admiration, respect and appreciation for everyone who joins in the effort to create the “next Australian champion”…
The Academy is doing everything it can, but it won’t happen in a vacuum. We all have to do our share, selflessly, generously and patiently. After all, a champion is not created ‘overnight’!
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