Pontefract Squash Club has produced a host of international players at senior and junior level and two more were added to that list when Ellen Cooper and Sam Todd were both selected to represent England at under 13 level in France next month.
Ellen, whose brother Jack has also represented his country, was a finalist in the recent British Under 13 Championships and has played all this season at senior level in the Leeds Metro league.
Nine-year-old Sam is the youngest player ever to represent his country and he too has played senior squash this season in the Yorkshire League. He was a finalist in last season’s England Under 11 Championships and won four of his six matches at the recent British Under 13 Open Championships which is of world status.
The British Senior Championships are at Manchester Sports City this week and James Willstrop began his quest for a third title yesterday (Wednesday). He has a potential semi final on Saturday against Peter Barker (Essex) and the final is on Sunday.
AJP Pontefract lost 3-2 to National League leaders Duffield. Willstrop and Indian number two Siddarth Sushde both won 3-0. Pontefract take on Birmingham at home next Tuesday and for the first time this season have a full strength side of Willstrop, Saurav Ghosal, Suchde, Lee Beachill and Sarah Kippax.
Pontefract’s Yorkshire League Premier side lost 3-2 to Barnsley. There were wins for Taminder Gata-Aura, returning from injury, and Jack Cooper.
The second team beat Halifax seconds 5-0 and the third team beat Huddersfield 4-1
For the last three weeks Pontefract coaches have provided free coaching for pupils of Airedale Junior School, the object being to introduce children to the game who might otherwise not have had the opportunity.
Twenty children have been involved under the guidance of qualified coaches Christian Donelan, Sam Wileman, Dominic Pegg, Brad Gallivan and Thoboki Mohohlo.
Emily Jones and Anthony Holmes both showed much promise and were rewarded with championship balls signed by James Willstrop.
It is intended to extend this association into other aspects, such as the theatre, and a fund is being set up within the club to provide the required finance.
The Pontefract club’s popular Tom Abbot Handicap begins this week and has, as usual, attracted a large entry.