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The Rebecca Macree Trophy (RMT) - National Deaf Squash Championships

Posted: 29.01.14

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This year the National Deaf Squash Championships will take place at The National Squash Centre, Sportcity, Manchester on 15th-16th February 2014, to coincide with the National Squash Championships. For more information or an entry form, contact Brian Rawlinson e_d_s_a@yahoo.co.uk or Simon Jones simonjones@pickeverard.co.uk.

The Rebecca Macree Trophy for Deaf People (RMT) evolved from the Midlands Deaf Sports Association (MDSA) who ran squash events until its demise in 1998 when Dominic Everett stepped in and with the support of a number of like minded people they formed the National Deaf Squash Association (NDSA) in May in 1998. In November 1998 saw the organisation achieve their aim of successfully running their first tournament.

In December 2000 it was decided to change the name to English Deaf Squash association (EDSA) so as to represent the interests of English players.

Deaf Squash in 2000 saw a new national tournament created, which included both support and the involvement of Rebecca Macree, herself a profoundly deaf person. Rebecca has represented England Squash at the highest levels in professional sport and reached the dizzy heights of 7 in the world rankings, in February 2005 she decided at the age of 33 to call it a day.

In October 2000 EDSA working in partnership with England Squash created a new national tournament whereby Rebecca lent her name to the event thus The Rebecca Macree Trophy for Deaf People (RMT) was born.

The 2000 final took place within the British Open and was played out on the old Perspex court, NIA Birmingham, where Dominic Everett won the first RMT title. In 2001 the final took place on the All Glass Court, NIA Birmingham with Brian Rawlinson defeating Gerald Westwood 3-1. The 2002 event was played alongside the British Open that transferred from now defunct Lambs Club London. Where we see Brian once again reach the final where he defeated the rising star, of deaf squash, namely Jamie Mathews in the final, 3-1 to take his second title. 2003 saw the loss of involvement within the British Open and the event take place in November at Abingdon Squash Club on the same weekend, which saw England’s Rugby team secure the world Rugby Championship, down under thanks to the magical kick of Johnny Wilkinson. James Mathews defeated Brian Rawlinson 3-0 to win his first RMT title.

The result of the changes taking place with the British Open it was agreed after discussion with England Squash & Racketball to transfer the event within the National Squash Championships as held at the new home of England Squash & Racketball at the National Squash Centre, Sportcity, Manchester.

2004 saw Jamie Mathews on the All Glass Court defeat Brian Rawlinson with consummate ease for the second time in a row, 3-0 to take his second deserved title. In 2005 Jamie Mathews continues to hold on the RMT title beating Scotland’s Number 1 player David Thompson of Edinburgh, winning 3-0. In September 2005 sees Philip Thomas winning his first English Deaf Squash Closed Championship title defeating Brian Rawlinson 3-0.

The 3rd International Deaf Squash event takes place in Melbourne Australia where the very strong Australian team defeats all comers to secure the team title, whilst Philip Thomas of England wins the individual title against Peter Walters of Australia 3-1.

2006 sees Jamie Mathews defeat Philip Thomas for his 4th title in a row and 2007 has yet another new name etched on the trophy that of Matthew Hewitt of Brighton defeating Simon Jones a former runner up in 2000.

Matt went onto win the English Deaf Squash Closed Championships 2007 before departing to South Africa where with the other members of Team England (deaf squash) went on to win the World Deaf Squash Team titles as well as Jamie collecting the individual title for his first time. Defeating Philip Thomas the 2005 holder.

Matt also wins the RMT in Manchester 2008. Retains his English Deaf Squash Closed Championships 2008 and in October 2008 wins his first European Title defeating Brian Rawlinson at the Northern Squash Club Manchester. Team England win their first European title defeating Scotland in the team event 2-1.

What qualifies a person to participate in deaf squash? Simply it is a degree of hearing loss that satisfies the criteria as set out by the World Deaf Squash Incorporated. WDSI based on data laid down by the CISS. Deaf or hearing impaired people shall mean, people with a hearing threshold (hearing loss) of 55dB or greater in their better ear, averaged over 500, 1K, 2K and 3K Hertz… as set out by the governing body of deaf sport CISS.

Over the years we have uncovered new players such as Matthew Hewitt, who have yet to become part of the Deaf Squash scene. So long as they have the minimum criteria of having a hearing loss either from Birth or in later life.

EDSA are indebted to the support that England Squash and Racketball for the provision of facilities at the National Squash Centre when the Rebecca Macree Trophy for Deaf People is played.

It has proved a great tournament played where the chance to play on the same court that professional players ply their trade to the envy of squash players up and down the country.