A huge congratulations to the England Teams who played in Nottingham in the Home Internationals against Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Four teams won their events for the Mens 35s, Mens 55s, Womens 55s, and Mens 75s. The teams included Surrey players Phil Nightingale, Captain of the Over 35s, Phil Rushworth from Wimbledon, and Nigel Stiles from Esher, and James Duboius from RAC, Epsom, Captain of the Over 75s.

If you’re thinking about getting involved in Masters events, read the article here written by James, its bound to convince you!

Phil Nightingale, Phil Rushworth, Nigel Stiles and James Duboius

A Truly Splendid Occasion

“It is no exaggeration when I say that I have just participated in a really memorable weekend in Nottingham.

The honour of representing England as both a player and Team Captain will remain with me for the rest of my life. I have really enjoyed it all and so appreciated the warmth and support from all the other players irrespective of their age or origin. Once the combat ceased, played in true sporting fashion, all were united in our shared love of our sport.

 I have participated in many tournaments and celebrations in the past 75 years and this was up there with the very best.

A massive thank you to the organisers, England Squash Masters, for a fantastic weekend of squash and for selecting me to lead the O75s which has been a humbling task when surrounded by the experience of my team members Adrian Wright, Chris Ansell, Martin Pearse who all seem to have been round the block again and again. They made it very easy and enjoyable for me and I hope that their trust in me has been rewarded. I shall work hard to earn a place in the squad for 2023 in Edinburgh.”

James Dubois
O75 Team Captain, England

Could Masters Squash give you a new lease of life?

When the first bloom of youth has faded and Surrey Cup matches seem to be more of a struggle because the opposition seems younger as the weeks and months go by, perhaps Masters Squash should be worth a try. Open to Men and Women above the age of 35, giving about 18 five-year age bands, events are organised so that all your potential opponents will be approximately your age.

This year, post-pandemic, there are likely to be four (or maybe five) Regional Tournaments spread around the four corners of England, plus two National Events. For a modest entry fee of about £30 anybody can enter their age-related event with a guaranteed first round match and either progressing through the competition or all first-round losers being able to enter the Plate Competition. This gives players the opportunity to meet others of their vintage and this tends to level the playing field if you are starting to “feel your age”.

Depending on your progress through each event, you earn Masters Ranking points which count towards Team selection to represent England in the Home Internationals against Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Even if you don’t aspire to representing your country, you can choose to play in just one or two events to reduce long journeys and the cost of hotels for a night or more. Dipping a toe in the water will soon educate you to the possibilities of enjoying Masters events and maybe convert you into a passionate supporter. We are pleased to feature here a seasoned Surrey player – James Dubois, originally a life-member of Sutton but now mainly playing his competitive squash at the Royal Automobile Club’s Country Clubhouse in Epsom.

Encouraged to try the format about seven years ago, James played in the early rounds of a couple of Regionals each season retiring in the early rounds (usually the first) but enjoying the camaraderie of the players especially as quite a number of them kept appearing at one or another of the Regionals. A new replacement hip in 2018 at the age of 71 reduced his competitive edge for about a year and just as he was starting to improve, Covid struck. Fortunately, he used the two-year lockdown to play a lot of singles tennis, which was permitted, to build stamina and strength while many other squash players of his age lost much of their enthusiasm for the game.

October 2021 saw James celebrate his 75th birthday and suddenly he was the new kid on the block, in with a chance of a few wins in the over 75s. Indeed, in January 2022 in the East of England Regional at Ipswich his luck was in and he had victories over two previous National title holders to claim his first Regional title. The following month, in the National event, he was seeded to reach the semis but in fact won the event, albeit being taken to 5 in the Final. National Champion at the age of 75 when he’d never so much as represented Surrey! This also qualified him for the England Team and he was invited to be Team Captain.

The Home Internationals for the Over 75s was held in May, 2022 in Nottingham and the three-man Team won 2/1, 3/0 and 3/0. James, playing at Number One, didn’t drop a game. Asked to comment, he said “I’m just an average Club player who was fortunate to be encouraged and mentored by several professionals and by many Club players of a much higher playing standard than me. It’s a fun format, competitive but social, and played in a true Corinthian spirit. I would urge all players, Men and Women, to enter at least one event, with the closest being here in Surrey at Colets in Thames Ditton, just to get a feel for it”.

Happy to record that the other three England Teams playing in Nottingham that weekend also won their events for the Mens 35s, Mens 55s and the Womens 55s. Other Surrey players included Phil Nightingale, Captain of the Over 35s, Phil Rushworth from Wimbledon, and Nigel Stiles from Esher. Well done Surrey players and well done England!