Noticeboard - General News Posts

AGM Notice

Notice of AGM

Dear Squash Club Members,

Notice is hearby given that Melbourn Village College Squash Club's Annual General Meeting will take place on:
Thursday 29th September,
8:00pm for an 8:15pm start
@ Green Man pub,
Dunsbridge Turnpike,
Shepreth, SG8 6RA

All members, full, off-peak, student, family, junior, etc. are eligible to attend and vote. Only votes from in the room, or submitted by proxy beforehand, shall be counted.

An agenda will be circulated before the day of the event.

MVCSC Committee

Kate Bradshaw reaches British Masters Final

There was more squash action for Melbourn’s Women’s No.1 Kate Bradshaw at the weekend over at the Park in Nottingham, which was host to the iProSports British Masters National Championships 2022. This is one of the biggest events of the Masters Calendar and attracts some of the most talented over 35s players from all four home nations. With over 250 people at the event, it was a welcome return to something more like normality after two years of this event being cancelled due to Covid. Bradshaw was hoping both for some good performances and decent points towards a possible England o35/40 qualification slot.

2022 British Masters All Finalists. Picture: Brian Brock

Her first match was against a former Nationals finalist, Nathalie Townsend from Warwickshire. With their matches often going to 3-2, Bradshaw knew she had to be on her mettle, but didn’t expect to be quite so in the zone for the first match of the tournament. Whatever structure her warm up took clearly got her to the perfect place for this match which she romped through, annihilating Townsend 3-0, 11-3/11-2/11-1.
On paper, the next match should have been the easiest, as her opponent was playing down a couple of age groups. However, Mandy Akin is well-known on the circuit as a multiple Nationals champion in all her age categories. Against Akin, a tough player with immense mental and physical capabilities, Bradshaw struggled to find the same form from her earlier match and went down in the first game. It continued to be a battle throughout with Mandy having nothing to lose. However, Bradshaw finally managed to assert herself and up her level, to take a 3-2 victory.

Kate (left) and Hannah Wright-Davies ahead of their final. Picture: Brian Brock

This earnt her a place in the final against Hannah Wright-Davies, a former Wales International player and the top seed. Wright-Davies enjoys the physical side of matches and gave Bradshaw no quarter on court, holding and taking her space. This frustrated Bradshaw’s usual movement and created more pressure on each rally just to get to the ball. Although Bradshaw had beaten her opponent once before, it was not to be repeated here. Her opponent’s solid and consistent play was too much for Bradshaw on the day and she had to settle for runner up at the Nationals again. Bradshaw said: “Hannah was just too strong, both mentally and physically for me today. I didn’t do enough to upset her flow and couldn’t take control of the T often enough. Even when I did work the rallies and create opportunities, the finish wasn’t quite there for me – but that’s also a result of the pressure she creates for you on the court. The game scores were close, but I was disappointed not to challenge her more today. It wasn’t the result I’ve been working towards, but I was still happy to make it to another Nationals final and to see so many familiar and friendly faces here, especially after the last two years we’ve all had away from the circuit.”

Andy Murray (not that one...) of tournament sponsors iProSports presents Kate with the Runner-Up trophy. Picture: Brian Brock

The Nationals were the last event of the 2021-22 Masters Tour, with the selection of England squads for the Home Internationals in spring swiftly following based on the end-of-season rankings. Bradshaw’s final position of no.1 in the Women’s Over-40s meant she was a highly likely selection for the joint Women’s O35s/40s side (there is no standalone Women’s O40s in the Home Internationals), but not only has she been picked for the side, Bradshaw has also been asked to Captain it! This is a second chance for Kate to lead the England team as she was also asked to skipper the 2020 side, only for that year’s tournament to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Women’s O35s/40s section of the 2022 Home International Series will take place at Galway Lawn Tennis Club, Galway, Ireland on the weekend of 22-23 April. Bradshaw commented “I’m so pleased to be able to captain the team this season after the 2020 event was cancelled. All the players are always proud to represent their country, but I think this year will hold that much more meaning for everyone. It will be a real celebration of a return to playing a sport we love after so many restrictions over the last two years.”

Christmas 2021 Newsletter

As we come to the end of the year, a general update on what is happening at the club seems appropriate.


The first item is that, to date, England Squash have not advised of any need to change our operating. The committee will continue to closely monitor any developments, and the club will obviously abide by any changes in the law on Indoor Sport. However, for the moment, the club remains OPEN and all normal Squash activities are possible.


Christmas Opening

As we haven’t been informed to close, the club can remain open daily from 07:00-23:00. However over the holiday period out-of-hours access will often be required as there will be many times when the Sports Centre is shut. The Sports Centre’s planned opening schedule over the festive period is:

Christmas Eve – 07:00-13:00

Christmas Day - Tuesday 28th – CLOSED

Wednesday 29th - Friday 31st – 07:00-13:00

New Year's Day – CLOSED

January 2nd – 08:00-13:00

January 3rd – CLOSED

January 4th onwards – return to normal hours

Please be aware of these times, particularly on days when the Centre is only open to 13:00. If the Centre shuts whilst you are playing, your car is at high risk of getting locked into the site! We cannot do anything about this – so take note, and if there is any risk on timings park in front of the school and walk through.

For details on how to access the site when the Leisure Centre is shut, please contact the club by email


Melbourn Squash Club tops

The committee would like to offer the opportunity for all members to buy sports-style shirts with the Melbourn Squash Club logo. You may have seen some players wearing these around the club. If you haven't spotted them there, they would be similar to the shirts superbly modelled by Junior players Alistair and Louis at a recent event.

Despite the kids wearing green in the above link, the shirts would only be offered in two colours – blue with a white logo, or white with a blue logo.

Cost per shirt is to be confirmed but is expected to be around the £~10 range.

There will be a minimum order number we would need to reach. The first stage is therefore to see if there would be enough takers to make it viable. If you would like to be involved in such an order, please reply saying so and how many shirts you would probably buy.

N.B. a reply at this stage this is just an expression of interest and NOT a commitment to buy.


Junior coaching and Ladies Casual Squash

These have now finished for 2021.

Junior coaching is open to all and free to attend. It is currently taking place from 4:00-5:00pm on Wednesday evenings. The session re-commence for 2022 on Wednesday 5th January.

The Women and Girls Casual session has been a great success with a peak attendance of 13 people over on evening at the start of December and a mailing list of now close to 20 people. Given how well it has been going, we have decided to run weekly in 2022. These sessions will take place on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00pm, using both courts. Each session costs £2 per evening per participant. We have also secured funding from Melbourn Parish Council to pay for a (female) coach to attend once every couple of months for Hints, Tips and Pointers sessions.

Both the Juniors and Female Casual sessions have their own mailing/contact lists. These are always open to new interest – if you know someone who would be interested in joining in in 2022 please contact Mark Oppen ( for Juniors or Nicole Rincon ( for female casual Squash.


Club Night and Internal Leagues

Club Night, which runs from 6:40-8:40pm on Sundays, won’t happen on Sunday 26th Dec, but will return for the New Year on Sunday 2nd Jan.

If you are interested in taking part in Club Night, please respond to this email with your phone number so you can be added to the WhatsApp group.

Regarding the Internal Box Leagues, League Secretary Colm has these two messages;

  • Great to see the numbers in the leagues back to pre-covid levels and continuing to grow.
  • Thanks for the feedback on how the league is operating and we will continue to refine it to encourage more games to be played.


Men’s Handicap Tournament proposal

The committee has made especial recent efforts to improve our offerings for Juniors and Female players. So now it is the Men’s turn – we want to try and offer something additional to increase the participation levels and club engagement of our male players.

Our first idea is a single day timed handicap tournament. The concept would be for matches of 15 minutes of continuous play (timed by a stopwatch), and simply to accumulate points. No games, just a running total. The player with the higher score at the end wins and advances.

To re-emphasise the event would be handicapped. That means the weaker player begins with a head start. 7-0 up, 10-0 up, that sort of thing. The bigger the expected disparity in levels, the larger that head start would be (30-0 to being with..??). If the handicapping is right then anybody, whatever their level of Squash, should be in contention to win the event.

If we got 16 players signed up we would run Cup and Plate competitions; that would mean at least 30 minutes of Squash for everyone across the day, rising to 1 hour for players reaching finals.

This was vaguely planned for January but given the developing situation we are going to kick the can down the road by a few months. So the suggested date is now Good Friday, 15th April. Hopefully things will have improved again by then and gathering a group of people together seems reasonable again.

As well as connecting with new opponents, another potential incentive to be involved stems from Cambs Squash having a fund for encouraging adult male participation in the sport; the committee have discussed this idea with them to see if we can get a chunk of that to support our proposed tournament. If this is available to us (please note that is TBC, the Cambs county committee are currently considering our suggestion) there may be prizes on offer…

Feel free to offer feedback on this proposal. We are all ears when it comes to ideas for additional playing opportunities for our male members as well as our female and junior ones.


Melbourn Squash Club Committee

Melbourn at Swavesey County Junior Squash Friendlies

Some of our Melbourn juniors took part in a Junior Inter-Club friendly get-together this weekend, held at Swavesey Squash Club. 
Alistair and Louis Oppen representing Melbourn had the opportunity of playing other similarly levelled and improving juniors from Peterborough, Comberton and Swavesey squash clubs for some friendly games. The afternoon attracted a number of keen juniors (girls & boys) who all had a go at testing themselves against each other on the court. 
Alistair and Louis enjoying watching a game in progress...
Great to see the Melbourn tops being worn with pride!

Louis in action preparing to receive serve...
...Alistair on the hunt for a tricky high backhand return

Louis holding the tee nicely! 

All in all it was an excellent afternoon of squash for all the juniors that took part. The biscuits went down well too! Thanks goes out to Swavesey Squash Club for organising!
Cambs Junior Development is holding another junior friendly series, being held at Peterborough SC on Sunday 22nd January 2022 (time t.b.c.)

Female Casual Squash @ Melbourn

… or in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity

[thanks for that one Albert]

Melbourn Squash Club recently began running Casual sessions for Women and Girls. These are on Tuesday evenings, running from 7:00-9:00pm on a fortnightly basis – between now and Christmas there are sessions on 30th November and 14th December, recommencing in the New Year on 11th January.

The Women’s Casual sessions are open to female players of any age or ability, already existing members and non-members alike. The cost is £2 per person per evening. The club provides balls and has racquets available to borrow – all anyone needs to bring with them to get on court and play is some suitable clothes for exercising and a pair of trainers with a non-marking sole.

The sessions have grown nicely since they started in October - we now have a mailing list with ~15 names on it, and attendances have ranging in the 5-10 bracket so far. Given the success to date, the Women’s Casual Sessions will be an ongoing offering from the club.

Session organiser Nicole Rincon commented "It’s a nice feeling that we’ve brought people back to the game who haven’t played for several years.  All saying how much they’ve enjoyed playing again."

Why have Women’s Casual Squash?

So, why a Womens and Girls Casual session, then? How did we come to be here?

Well, the 15 months of on-and-off lockdown got the committee at Melbourn thinking. Yeah, I know, dangerous. It was obvious that our membership numbers were going to drop precipitously, and it was going to take specific efforts to rebuild them again to get the club back on an even footing. That was a general point, but were there any other trends that predated worldwide events that we really should have been addressing anyway?

The answer was obvious: yes, two. One, the number of Juniors playing in the club, was something we were already attempting to rectify with the Junior coaching, both in conjunction with the Village College and standalone club sessions, which we launched in late 2019 (no awards for timing there). But there was another demographic that our numbers said we had been failing to engage well with recently: female players.

Female playing numbers on our courts, both taking up membership or those visiting on an irregular non-member basis, had been in decline for many years. The sad demise of our Women’s team attests to that. They were good, County Champions in 2017 no less, but whilst the squad definitely had lots of quality, it lacked depth – only 6 members strong. When family reasons saw the skipper stepped down a season later and two of the other players withdraw from team play, there simply weren’t the numbers to carry on as the conveyor belt of new blood to take their places… well, there wasn’t one!

Not our issue alone, of course. This appears to be a national phenomenon. And one other people have been trying to address already. One such initiative was just around the corner, locally-based professional player (top 100 these days) and coach Ali Loke running open casual sessions for Women and Girls at Swavesey Squash Club.

Ali (grey top, fifth from left) with one of her female-only groups

This sounded like a plan. So we ran a pilot, getting Ali along to our club for an evening back in September. When this drew 7 people along, many of whom hadn’t played Squash in years, it was clear that the appetite was still there in the Melbourn area to get on court… if the right sort of encouraging, supportive environment could be provided.

And therefore the Melbourn’s Women’s Casual Sessions were launched.

What is next?

So that is where we are today. But what next for Female Casual Squash at Melbourn? Well session organiser Nicole is currently seeking feedback from the mailing list over whether to continue with fortnightly sessions in the new year or run weekly instead.

The Club are also delighted to announce that we have secured a generous grant from the Melbourn Parish Council Community Fund that will allow us to bring a professional coach in on a bi-monthly basis to run Tips, Hints and Advice sessions. We will look to continue to develop on what has been achieved so far, to rebuild the base of Women’s Squash in Melbourn and the surrounding area.

For further information on the Women’s casual session, or to join our mailing list please contact Nicole Rincon on 07762 908461, or by Facebook.
For information on this and other activities at Melbourn Squash Club please contact Club Secretary Jan Brynjolffssen – 07730 406688 or