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Records tumble at junior squash event,

New junior coaching starting at the club from 18th April -see previous emails for details Over 800 children were involved in the fourth County Durham and Cleveland Primary Schools Squash Championship recently, making it the biggest competition of its kind in the UK. Prior to the tournament the children had taken part in coaching sessions arranged through the England Squash and Racketball Grass-Roots Initiative and individual club schemes. Around 150 children competed in the preliminary rounds of the championship and 49 (19 girls and 30 boys) from nine schools played in the finals at Norton Squash Club, which was also a record. The tournament was run on a round-robin format to ensure an action-packed event, with three groups of three schools in round one competing to progress through to the winners’, second, and third-placed play-offs in round two. With many more games to complete this year, they were reduced in length to seven point-a-rally scoring rather than the usual 11 points. The children used ‘advanced’ mini-squash balls and minor modifications to the rules to promote open games and longer rallies. These consisted of an alternate serving structure (the same as in tennis tiebreaks), second serves and common-sense application of the rules governing a ‘good service’. Luke D’Souza (Crooksbarn) repeated his feat of 2014 by scoring maximum points in his final year at primary school, but Joel Gibson and Tom Chambers (St. Bernadette’s) both claimed 28 points to lead the Nunthorpe school “Most of all, thanks to the children for participating in this competition, and for their high standard of play and sportsmanship, which always attracts lots of positive comments.”

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