I first started playing squash at the Sumner Club in 1972 with my brother, Gary (Budge) and our two tennis mates Stu Doak and Wayne Bisset. We were keen junior tennis players and the club provided coaching from Peter Steinmetz who will be well known to many older Canterbury players.
As summer came to an end, he suggested we take up squash to help improve our volleying (highly ironic given my subsequent squash style!) so we all gave it a crack. From then on we were all hooked and, together with Joanne Williams, played all the games, tournaments and interclub we could.
We managed to combine a love of squash with our fanaticism for motorbikes and travelled around the South Island camping outside clubs and playing tournaments. We were joined on these adventures by squash luminaries such as Rod Hayes, Barrie Matthews and even Chris Wasley with their names increasingly appearing on the tournament honours boards.
I have played interclub consistently since 1972, sometimes stopping for a year or two due to work commitments, but always coming back to the sport as I missed the action it provides and the great camaraderie amongst the players. Squash is one of the few sports that you can play over a lifetime – one of the first top players I saw in a tournament was Lawrence Skurr and he still is still playing well today.
On the work front, I have held a number of senior leadership positions in the Port, Health and Corrections industries. Being in charge of all the South Island Prisons for 14 years certainly helped me deal with players who wanted to argue about my refereeing decisions!
I took up the role of Chair of the Inter Club Committee this year because I was keen to help the competition to be as good as it could and I wanted to make a contribution to squash in Canterbury after so many years as a player. As a Board member I would like to see junior squash numbers increasing and our sport being recognised more widely amongst athletes for the great work out it provides.