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Never too late to learn a new sport!

Posted: 09.10.12



Some members of Ryedale U3A hadn’t been on a squash court for almost 40 years, others had never graced a squash court before and other ageing couch potatoes flocked to the Racketball taster sessions at Malton Squash club.

They were inspired by Bob Coursey a squash and U3A member, and Club coach Steve Everitt. The 14 members were introduced to the game, taught how to hold the racket, and given an outline of the basic rules. Then onto the court for a familiarisation session with 2 couples/court practising forehands and backhands. To finish there was enough time to play a few games with different opponents.

A retired Doctor and his wife remarked on the friendly and helpful manner of the coach. They appreciated getting back on the squash court after a lapse of 35 years, to play a less physically demanding game than squash. They found it a most enjoyable form of exercise accompanied by a pleasant social gathering.

Many found racketball an easy game to pick up and some were surprised at their own abilities. According to Gerry ‘I got a bit puffed and sweaty, with a little mild muscle stiffness afterwards. It provides one with exercise in a nice warm dry place and has good social interaction with new people’.

A newcomer to the game Jennifer was very taken with Racketball, although she found it easier to play with other non squash players, that didn’t hit the ball too hard. The excellent tuition given has certainly motivated her to investigate other facilities closer to home to play racketball.

Most felt that as one gets older the appeal of exercise is certainly enhanced by doing it within a social group. So the combination of exercise with like minded people of a similar age is most appealing. An enthusiastic couple Judith & Mike remarked ‘long may the racketball continue!’ All praised Bob for his initiative and organisation to kick start the U3A racketball group.

The level of interest and enjoyment was such that members, many of whom had either retired from squash years ago or felt that it is never too late to try a new sport, will be meeting every Thursday at Malton Squash club to play Racketball. The Ryedale U3A racketball group, run by U3A coordinator and former squash player Bob Coursey is now being established with players paying £3/week. Bob will be joining in the next U3A racketball event at Heaton Tennis & Squash club, where he will be able to learn from the experiences of other U3A Racketball Group leaders and players.