Introduction and club history
The club caters for all levels of player from the seasoned professional to those who are just picking up a racket for the first time! We are also open to non-students.
The squash club has been running successfully at Heriot-Watt for many years. In that time we have a lot of success in University and East of Scotland Competition. The club continues to grow its coaching and training structure, with the help of the Sports Union. The social side of the club is thriving too with regular club nights and socials open to all members.
Each year we enter a men's team into Scottish Student Sport (SSS). In the past our men's and women's SSS teams have both been crowned SSS champions. We have also had men's and women's SSS individual champions.
In the East of Scotland Squash Leagues we field three open teams each year. This gives club members the chance to represent the club on a weekly basis. Our 1st and 2nd teams are in Division 2 this season and our 3rd team is in Division 5. We also enter a team into the Scottish National League to compete with clubs around the country.
Our club charter
We aim to provide the following service to all our members:
- To provide an opportunity for any member to gain coaching on a weekly basis at some point during the academic year.
- To provide a range of competitive opportunities to allow members to compete individually or as a member of a team representing the club.
- To provide an opportunity for members to gain a worthwhile social experience through the Sport.
Heriot-Watt Squash Club are lucky to have the coaching services of Scottish International Squash Player Elspeth Young. Elspeth has been involved in the club and the teams for a few years and this year she will be taking over the role of club coach. Elspeth is currently ranked in the top 150 in the PSA World Rankings and is the reigning Scottish U23 National Champion. She has represented Scotland as a junior and senior on many occasions and has helped Scotland achieve promotion to Division 2 in the European Team Championships where they won a bronze medal this year.
The group coaching sessions run by Elspeth at Oriam Sports Centre, during semester time are:
- Team fitness: Monday 6.30 - 7.30pm
- Team coaching: Monday 7.30 - 8.30pm
- Development coaching: Monday 8.30 - 9.30pm
These sessions are primarily aimed at players who are involved in the club's competitive ladder and are interested in representing the University in either the East of Scotland Leagues or the SSS competition. However the development session is open to other club players who want to improve their game.
Places at these sessions are limited and if interest is too high, attendance will be by invitation only based on a player's performance at the ‘Trials' tournament at the beginning of semester 1. There is the possibility of joining these sessions at a later date, but this will be at the discretion of the club coach and club coordinator. For more details, please contact Martin Ross via email: email@example.com
This year, we will also be introducing beginners coaching sessions. These will be run on Friday evenings during semester time at 6.30 – 7.30pm.
The club runs two club nights a week during semester time:
- Club Night 1: Tuesday 6.30 - 9.30pm
- Club Night 2: Friday 6.30 - 9.30pm
These nights consist of fun competition that allows players to play against other members regardless of their standard. We have a team of event coordinators that run the club night sessions, and each week we run a different type of tournament in each session.
Throughout the academic year, the club will run a number of social events (which may or may not involve playing squash). These will be advertised in advance on the club social media pages and via the club newsletters.
SSS team competition
This tournament is played in November each year. Teams consist of five players, all of whom must be current students of the university, and the competition is played over a weekend with each team playing around five matches. Success in this tournament is required for entry into the BUCS competition in January. We aim to enter at least one men's team into the SSS championships each year but there is the possibility to enter more teams and a women's team depending on membership. Teams are selected by the club captain and coordinator using the competitive ladder as a starting point.
SSS individual competition
This tournament runs in the same way as the team tournament. It is played in February each year. Entry into this competition is up to each individual. If you think you have what it takes then contact Martin Ross on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
These are team events which Heriot-Watt can qualify for through the SSS team competition. Again, teams are made up of five players, all of whom must be current students at the University. Teams are entered into a knockout tournament and play against other universities from around Britain. This event normally starts around the beginning of Semester 2 and matches are played on a weekly basis on Wednesday afternoons. Teams are selected by the club captain and coordinator using the competitive ladder as a starting point.
East of Scotland League
This is another team event which runs throughout the year from late September until March and is usually the club's main focus. Teams play at various venues around Edinburgh and local areas each week. The league is both competitive and social with the home team providing food and drinks for the away team. Due to this there is an extra cost of around £5 a week for taking part. We aim to enter three open teams into the league. Teams are selected from the competitive ladder. This offers a great chance to play more experienced players from local squash clubs and offers fantastic networking opportunities.
Scottish National League
Heriot-Watt enter a men's team into the Scottish National League. This is played between clubs around the country and features some of the country's top players. This makes it great to both play in and watch. Matches are usually played on Tuesday evenings so feel free to come along and get behind the team!
All players who would like to get involved in competitive squash at the University should attend the trials tournament at the start of semester 1. During the trials tournament, players will play some games against other club players so we can assess their ability and they can be entered into the correct position in the ladder and mini-leagues. It also allows all players to be placed in appropriate coaching sessions. Anyone is welcome to attend this initial tournament, whether they are a member of the club or not.
The squash and racketball club championships are individual competitions open only to club members. The tournament runs from February to April and is a knockout competition. To give every member the chance of success there are multiple plate levels. The number of events in the club championships depends on the size of the entry. Players are given a time period in which to organise and play their championship match. The club championship ends with the finals night, where we play all finals and 3rd-4th playoffs, and afterwards we have our main social of the year, often incorporating attending the annual beer festival held at Heriot-Watt. To cover costs there is a small entry fee.
The club Open
Each year the club runs an open competition in association with East of Scotland Squash Association and Scottish Squash. Last year, the competition was granted silver status by Scottish Squash and attracted players of all levels from across the country. The tournament consists of multiple divisions, so all players will get at least three three matches against players of similar ability. There will be great prizes and competition t-shirts for all entrants. Details will be posted around Edinburgh in the months before the competition.
SportyHQ competitive ladder
This is an ongoing ladder which is run through the internet via https://www.sportyhq.com/. Players are ranked in order of ability but can challenge players above them whenever they like. The ladder gives players the chance to see where they are compared to other club members. The ladder is used to select teams for competition and for seeding the club championships.
The mini-leagues offer members a chance to play competitive games outside of team competitions in the East of Scotland. Players are in a group of five people and are given five weeks to play their matches. Players are given contact details of other players and arrange themselves to play the games. It is a great way to put coaching points into practice and meet new people within the club. This season, the mini-leagues will also be run online through https://www.sportyhq.com/.
The club has a range of racketball equipment that is free to hire for any member.
How to join the club
Join at Oriam reception:
- £17.50 for student members
- £26 for non-student members
- Free membership of Scottish Squash and racketball is included with your club membership