MIDDLESEX SQUASH & RACKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Middlesex Squash & Racketball Association is responsible for organising and promoting squash in Middlesex. The County organisation provides a link between the governing body of squash in England and the clubs and players in Middlesex. It was founded in the 1930s and ran the first Middlesex Open Championships in 1937.
In recent years far reaching changes have been made to the County organisation. Several aspects of County squash ( Juniors, Refereeing, Competitions, Leagues ) have been progressively integrated and Middlesex was one of the first counties in 1985 to merge the mens and womens associations completely. In July 2008 the county association and the leagues merged to form a single organisation with a new constitution and a new committee structure. A major aim of this new structure was to achieve better contact between the several leagues operating in Middlesex and the County organisation.
A number of committees look after special interests within this structure. For example, the Junior Committee consists of individuals responsible for the elite squads of boys and girls in different age groups from under 11 upwards, the organisers of the Junior Open and Closed Championships, the Junior League secretary, representatives of the coaching and development interests in the County. The main leagues also have their own committees and the Middlesex SRA AGM is usually held in July.
The Middlesex refereeing squad includes a number of County and Tournament Grade referees, together with a few who have reached National or International level. Referees are provided for many club competitions, all County competitions such as the Open and Closed Championships at junior, senior, veterans and vintage levels, for national league matches held locally, for Inter County weekends hosted by Middlesex and for other SRA competitions in the area.
Overall, the Middlesex SRA attempts to promote squash in the county, if not from the cradle to the grave, at least from the under 10 to the over 65 age groups. In the Mens Inter-County Championships, Middlesex have teams in the main, over35, over45, over50, over55 and over60 sections, the women have teams in the main, over40 and womens league sections. The Middlesex Closed Championships are held every year, usually in early October these are aimed at helping selection for the county teams.
Middlesex Open Championships have been held since 1937 former mens champions include Hiddy Jahan, Stuart Davenport and Mark Chaloner, while the womens champions include Lisa Opie, Sue Devoy, Sue Wright and Rebecca Macree. They have attracted entries from Ireland, Malaysia, Pakistan and South Africa in addition to those from the UK.
It is difficult to create a sense of county identity in an urban county like Middlesex with its massive population, local transport difficulties and many competing attractions. However we are one of the largest squash counties in terms of number of clubs and have one of the largest county leagues with hundreds of players each playing 18 to 20 matches during the Winter season alone. There are juniors, mens, womens, veterans and vintage leagues in Winter and there is also a Summer League.
In recent years our junior players have included several ranked nationally and nearly all of our senior county teams are in the Premier Divisions. A number of Middlesex players are selected to represent their country in the home internationals each year and in 2008, several of these players were chosen to captain their England team in the various age group internationals.