Pontefract Squash Club, selected by a panel of experts, has been named Squash Club of the Year by the Squash Player Magazine, which features the club in its latest edition.
The panel listed ten of the qualities the club possesses which influenced their choice.
The first quality was a welcoming environment.
The second was a pro active membership and the third was outstanding competitive achievements.
Fourth on the list was the club being supporters of England and county events.
The fifth quality was presentation of facilities.
Next on the list was a comprehensive squash programme.
Top class coaching systems were listed as the seventh quality, followed by easily accessed junior activities.
The club’s partnership with schools and the community was the ninth quality and the programme of social activities was the tenth.
The club’s association, through England Squash and its own Foundation, with Airedale Junior School, De Lacey School and Pathways School for autistic children was highlighted in the magazine.
Other factors were the classlessness, racelessness and the flourishing women’s and girls’ sections.
The prestigious award is a reward for all the dedication that owner Michael Todd has given to the club since he saved it from extinction many years ago, with the help of Normanton, Castleford and Pontefract MP Yvette Cooper.
During his stewardship the club has gone from strength to strength and he has had the pleasure of seeing his son Sam win the British Junior Open in January to become the first British male winner for 14 years, at the same time establishing himself as the best 12 year old squash player in the world.
The article also highlights the significant part played by the club’s two former world number ones Lee Beachill and James Willstrop whose achievements drew attention to the club and the work it was doing.
The recognition, too, is a reward for the many people, far too many to name, who have contributed in various ways to the club’s reputation.