It was refreshing to see local leisure centres in Surrey and Sussex embracing and supporting World Squash Day.
First in a double-header was Haslemere, which had a fresh, inviting feel with its recently refurbished courts.
The courts had been closed for a few days and work had started at the crack of dawn the day before. It was eyeballs out into Friday evening and the paint had barely dried in time for the courts to re-open on schedule.
And what an excellent job they did. The vibrant feel put a bounce into your stride before you entered a court and you could almost see your reflection in the dazzling-white walls.
When the ball clung to the side walls - which it often did - we were afraid to scuff the walls! Unfortunately in the heat of the excitement we dropped our guards and left our signatures.
It was a mad dash dodging shoppers in the villages along the A286 to get to the next venue. The Grange in Midhurst had pushed the boat out for the day with a cocktail of events from 9.00-18.00h.
This was a trip down memory lane as I was greeted by old friends - it was great to see some new faces too.
After a bit of coaching on technique we finished with a hearty game of squicket, plus `one for the bank` – a gruelling fitness test lasting a minute.
Boys, girls, men and women of all ages turned up at both venues to celebrate and participate. Coaching, fun games and fitness challenges left the participants wanting more.
All-in-all it was a friendly, light-hearted, motivational day. Female newcomers got swept along with enthusiasm and there’s already talk of forming a women’s team at Midhurst.
If you missed out, watch out for upcoming events as the centres try to build on the buzz World Squash Day created.
There is nothing like a game of squash to make you feel alive.
World Squash Day continues into next weekend for me as I head to Aldershot.