Squash club ponders future

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Ashburton Squash Club committee members Victor Schikker, Phil Pavletich, Christina Lima and Karlie McQueen excited about the future options for the club. Photo Toni Williams

High costs associated with earthquake strengthening its building and declining membership could force the sale of Ashburton Squash Club.

Up to $2 million is needed for future works and members are looking at options; to either merge with Collegiate Squash Club or at the possibility of a new purpose-built facility at the EA Networks Centre site.

Ashburton Squash Club president Phil Pavletich said both options were being investigated and would involve the sale of the Ashburton Squash Club facility, which sits on prime residential land with two titles on Harrison Street, in Allenton.

to sell that land and buildings and invest the capital generated there to invest into Collegiate Squash Club.

and has been talked about in the past, was approaching Ashburton District Council around potentially involving EA Networks (Centre) seeing if we could look to run a facility there.

It would help increase the visibility of squash especially with all the foot traffic to the centre.

The sale of the Ashburton site was deemed more likely to raise more funds than a sale of Collegiate’s site.

A business case proposal will be put together over the coming months. It is due to be brought back to members for consideration at a special general meeting midway through next year.

The proposal would identify possible funds raised with the sale of Ashburton’s titles and what a merger or build would look like in reality. There were also outside factors to take into account, such as plans for a new bridge across the Ashburton River which was likely to impact the Collegiate land.

It would also identify how much money would be needed to invest in Collegiate to get it up to a standard that would facilitate a membership base of up to 120 individuals, he said.

Mr Pavletich said Collegiate was in favour of a merger due to a falling membership but needed to tie up details around their building ownership and lease. They had around 30 to 40 members.

“It is exciting but there are certainly a hell of a lot of hoops to jump through.

“If we can get a really top notch squash facility in Ashburton out of all of this, it gives us the possible flexibility of hosting more national tournaments as well.”

Mr Pavletich was re-elected as Ashburton Squash president at the annual general meeting on November 24. Also elected was Matt Speedy (vice president), Ben Schnackenberg (treasurer) Christina Lima (secretary), Karlie McQueen (juniors and new members coordinator) and Katrina Palmer, Mark Kennedy, Karen Nieman, Victor Schikker and Al White (general committee).

The mandate given at the meeting was to explore options for the future of the club especially with the ongoing challenges around the running costs of the infrastructure versus the membership base, Mr Pavletich said.

The club has 79 full-subscribing members; 18 attended the annual general meeting.

-BY Toni Williams.jordan release dateZwift Is Betting It Can Do for Running What It Did for Cycling