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September
’07 Global Gallery

…Jonathon’s new project
… Jamie Hickock … LJ Anjema’s progress … earthquakes in Manchester
… Whitey at F&M

Global Gallery,
September 5, 2007

The Monthly Round-up of the Interesting and
Inane of Squash this month from
Martin Bronstein, dean of the Squash Press

© 2007 All
rights reserved.
all photos© 2007, Debra Tessier and Fritz Borchert

POWER
OF GOOD

venue
Jonathon Power: Now passing on his
knowhow
(Debra
Tessier photo:© 2007)

Jonathon
Power has started to put the pieces together to achieve his aim of
establishing his own club for juniors. I caught him on his way through
Union Station in Toronto. (He moved back there last year so his wife
Sita could be near her folks when she gave birth to their daughter,
Parker, seven months ago.

Jonathon
is now working closely with five juniors, four Canadians and one American,
Ryan Dowd from Boston. Jonathon got to know Dowd when he stayed with
his family when he played in the US Open and now Ryan is delaying his entry
into Yale by a year, which he will devote to getting better as a squash
player.

“I’m
not saying Dowd is a future world champion but he’s a good athlete
and  he is getting his head together,” Jonathon told me. 

Power’s
operation is presently based at the Toronto Athletic Club  courtesy
of Clive Caldwell, who has done so much for Canadian squash since he
himself was a major player at both hard and softball.  (If Clive
isn’t in the Canadian Squash Hall of Fame yet, he should be.)

“This
is the start and I am building up goodwill. Our aim is eventually to
build our own high performance centre, not just another squash club.,” he
told me as he bustled through the Toronto crowds.  If anyone can
achieve that, Jonathon can. Meanwhile, Americans will be watching  Ryan
Dowd’s progress.

JAMIE
BACK IN MALAYSIA

After  several years toiling at the social
coal face that is the Merion Cricket Club, Jamie Hickock, that great
Anglo-Canadian squash talent and now coach, is back in Malaysia  as
the national coach.

I
met up with him at the St George’s Club in England
where he was once more escorting a score of young American squash players
around England before heading off to the German and Dutch Junior Opens.

Jamie
is still as laid back as ever and quite happily disclosed that he had
been fired by the MCC and seemingly happy about it.

“Listen Martin.
I am now a national coach with responsibility for all junior and senior
teams male and female and I can tell you there is not nearly as much
stress as I got at the MCC.” They. were heartfelt words. He is
now married to a Malaysian lady and they have a baby, so residence in
Malaysia is a good deal all round.

I am wondering whether his presence
in that country will help to put the career of Ong Beng Hee back on track.
It was Jamie who coached and mentored Beng Hee through his early years
as a senior on the pro circuit.

SQUASH AHOY

In my Gallery written after the Canary Wharf
Classic where we stayed one night on board a boat/hotel, I came up with
the brilliant idea of a cruise tournament with a glass court on board
a major liner with matches played at night and the passengers playing
with the pros during the day. The cruise, I envisaged would terminate
in `New York in time for the tournament of Champions at the Grand Central
Station.

To
my delight and horror, it was not a new idea.  A German
company (AIDA) had already put a specially
designed ASB  squash court
on to one of their latest boats.  I wrote to them telling them of
my vision and received this reply:

Dear Martin,

This
is indeed amazing that part of your “dream” was
already  being fulfilled while you where dreaming it.

The
first glass court was  installed on AIDAdiva, a second
one is being installed at the Meyers shipyard on the AIDAbella and
two more will follow on the next AIDA cruise ships to be built soon.

Maybe
one day this dream can be realised – this cruise from England
to New York. Really exciting.

Christa Oberhans

So,
before you know it there will be four ships at sea with squash players
being seasick and exhausted at the same time. None of the schedules
call for Brit landings  yet, but I’m
working on a freebie even as you read this.

YES,
THERE IS A GOD…

A
lifelong atheist and now follower of Richard Dawkins (his book, The
God Delusion is world-wide best seller),  I
have now nevertheless been converted the other way.

As
you all know by now I am not a fan of the business practices of  Paul Walters who
now runs most major tournament and almost everything else in Brit squash.
(I think his business credo is “If you are not for me, I will destroy
you”)

His
business is based in Manchester which is why so many tournaments are
played in Manchester.  My conversion came last week with a headline
in The Times newspaper: “The Earth Moves for Manchester
as sixth tremor in a month shakes the city awake”
 

You see, there is a God.

( Happily, they were tremors rather than major
building-smashers.)

ANJEMA STILL RECOVERING

venue
LJ: Still resting on the settee (Debra
Tessier photo:© 2007)

I
called Laurens Jans Anjema – known as
LJ to his friends – a couple of days after  his mammoth
97-minute final in the Forexx Dutch Open when he lost to David Palmer
11-10 (5-3), 1-11, 10-11 (3-5), 11-1, 11-6

He
told me he was still lying down on the settee trying to recover.  Despite the loss,  LJ,
ranked 26 in the world, is not too downhearted after putting up such
a good fight against the world number three. The closeness of the contest
is probably due to the fact that LJ takes the 75 minute trip from The
Hague to Antwerp to play Palmer twice a week as well as get coaching
from Shawn Moxham, the man who took Palmer to the top in world squash.Obviously
Palmer and LJ know each other’s games pretty well by now. 

However,
LJ has been working with a new fitness coach and told Squashtalk’s
Ron Beck that he was fitter than ever.  So I asked LJ if he was
that fit, why did he fade in the last two games?  LJ  didn’t
put the phone down or call me names. In fact he was his usual honest
self:

“I was actually lucky to win that third game tie-break. I won
the final point on a  mis-hit which just reached above the tin. But
The fatigue was mental, I had to concentrate so hard to play the right
tactics against David.  In the fourth I started to play stupid and
he was 6-1 up and you don’t fight back from  6-1 down against
someone like David. So I let it go and played hard in the fifth but it’s
hard to  get up  again,” he said, adding that the result
will get him back to the low 20’s and give him a good start to
the new season. (He will be in New York for the US Open.)

His
new fitness guru is a South African, Alistair McCaw who is also working
with top tennis players.  LJ says that McCaw’s range of fitness routines
is huge. “I hardly ever do the same thing twice. They range from
running in the woods holding logs above my head to Plyometrics and various
versions of court sprints.”

So be warned, Anjema is looking for
top twenty status before the end of the year.

LATVIA ANYONE?

While
squash is shrinking in England (although nobody will admit it) alongside
the vision of some of the sports administrators, it seems to be blossoming
in Latvia. Lithuania is also getting big into squash. So says  Richard Packham of Pointfore who is enjoying good
sales of all things squash to those countries. Packham thinks that England’s
administrators are not supporting the clubs and there is solid evidence
that the sport is diminishing. In one county the number of teams competing
in the county leagues has dropped from 150 a decade ago to 50 this year.

OR
PENNSYLVANIA?

John White to become college coach
at F&M in Pennsylvania
(Debra
Tessier photo:© 2007)

The
sport is still enjoying a slow growth in the US. One English pro reckons
there is at least 30 Limeys and Aussies now ensconced in the US holding
down major coaching jobs.  The latest – and
this is a biggie – is that a towering world talent, John White
the former world #1, has
taken up the post of squash
coach at Franklin & Marshall University
in Pennsylvania. Watch for a major change of fortunes for that University’s
teams in the college leagues.

Martin
Heath, the former world top tenner from Scotland, moved to the States
a few years back and is now taking the University of Rochester to new
heights
.