Off The Wall Squash this week welcomed a new coach to our ranks with the arrival of Stan Sykes.
Stan is a top Essex junior player who began playing squash at one of OTWS’s schools’ coaching programmes at the ripe old age of 10. His school, Lawford Primary, were one of the first in Colchester to sign up for our Roman Cup event where schools compete against one another at our HQ at The Garrison.
The programme has since become one of the most successful in the country with more than 350 children from 12 schools battling it out for honours. It was a wonderful launch pad for Stan who now joins the OTWS coaching staff having passed his England Squash Level One coaching examinations.
And it was straight down to business for the 16-year-old who joined Conor Adams for a school‘s coaching session at Highfields Primary in Colchester on Monday. Head coach Lauren Selby said:
“It’s fantastic that Stan has joined the OTWS team. We are thrilled that he brings his skills and wonderful enthusiasm to the set-up. And the fact that he was one of our first junior Roman Cup players is even more pleasing.”
“We have known Stan for more than 6 years and have seen him develop from a super keen 10 year old into one of the county’s top junior players. More importantly, he has grown into a delightful, respectful and engaged human being. We all love him to bits and are so happy that he is now one of us.”
Stan’s arrival takes the OTWS coaching line-up to nine coaches. Alongside Lauren, the team consists of Emily Ison, Paul Selby, Conor Adams, Daryl Selby, Lucie Selby, Amy Aspinall and Dave Smith who all coach at the Garrison in Colchester as well as in primary schools.
The schools’ programme has been running for nearly 10 years and is the main feeder into the OTWS Academy. Children from Reception to Year 6 are taught the fundamentals of squash using mini squash nets in their school hall. They all then get the opportunity to play on a full-sized squash court when they visit the Garrison on a class trip.