Squash Coaching

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For those of you who didn’t know already, the GSK Stevenage Fitness Centre has two fantastic squash courts, with a competitive squash league and a professional squash coach too. Derek Thorpe, the Centre’s coach has been coaching at the site for over 6 months and he’s tuition is having a very valuable impact on our member’s playing skills.

Two members who have particularly benefited from Derek’s coaching are Simon Pascoe and Carolyn Elliott. Simon has worked at GSK Stevenage for over 11 years. He has many sporting hobbies, such as white-water kayaking, badminton, plus Fitness Centre classes such as KOBO. Simon’s first reason for taking up squash was to challenge his fitness in a different way. “Whereas in the gym you compete against yourself, with squash you are competing against someone else….it’s a very focused game, the 45 minute coaching session was over in a flash and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Simon’s partner in crime is Carolyn Elliott, who unlike Simon is a relatively new employee to GSK Stevenage, working within the Change and Configuration Management team. She states:

My main ‘thing’ in life (not a hobby or a sport, more of a lifestyle choice) is my slightly nutty horse. Although I ride regularly that’s not a great calorie burner, so, in an effort to keep the effects of a sedentary job under control (but still eat pizza!), I like to keep myself active and I’m very lucky that my partner in crime, Simon, feels the same so we can encourage each other. At the moment keeping active consists of running 3-4 times a week and a mixture of lunchtime activities, namely Step, Boxing Circuits and KO BO (Not sure what that stands for but its a sort of Boxercise class). We’ve also signed up to try the new “Boot Camp” sessions – which I’m hoping will be challenging but not quite as scary as they sound?

The latest addition to the ‘beat the desk-bound belly’ armoury is Squash. I had always wanted to play squash having seen what great fun and an intense workout it looked. But took me a really long time to finally get round to it! Starting my new job based at GSK Stevenage and discovering there were excellent Squash Courts on site, and a professional coach on hand, gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out.

With no racket skills whatsoever I put myself at the mercy of the coach, Derek. During the course of my first lesson I was guided gradually through learning how to hold the racket, forehand and backhand strokes, serving, position on the court and rules of the game. All of this carried out with great patience and very clear friendly advice, and some mischievously placed non-gettable balls to remind you to keep moving back to the “T”. It really was fun, and the sensation of hitting a shot when everything comes together is very satisfying indeed! Roll on lesson number two!

So, if you want to play squash or improve your game, look no further from Stevenage Fitness Centre. Sports membership starts from as little as £10 per month. For more information please contact the Fitness Centre at Stevenage ext 4204.
Simon Pascoe and Carolyn Elliott with coach Derek at GSK Stevenage
Beginner's Lessons

It will only take the average person 4 lessons with Derek, from absolute beginner, to be able to take part in their Club League, and be capable of playing matches against others.