#6 A Team and and Major

•  Men's World Team Championships 2011 • 21-27 Aug • Paderborn, Germany •  

 

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#1 Welcome to Paderborn ] #2 Meet Andreas ] #3 Meet more teams ] #4 Norman and more ] #5 Scotland plus ... ] [ #6 A Team and and Major ]

EN BREF #6
 
Everything you never knew you needed to know about the World Teams ...

ANDREAS & NORMAN,
THE A TEAM…
  


After meeting Andreas, now it's Norman Farthing's turn, the other compere in Passion and Organisation... Part 2.... If you haven't read part one (issue #4), I strongly advise you to read it now....

Bundesliga (German League)

Paderborn is hugely famous the participation in the German League, Bundesliga. They started in 84/85, they had an "accident on the way", as Norman calls it, when they dropped a division for 1 year in 87/88.

"We’ve been very fortunate as Heinz Nixdorf, builder/owner of the centre, gave us all the advertising rights. As in, the only place you see advertisement here is in the squash club.

We don’t have any court numbers here, only sponsors name on our 10 courts, so, every time you want to book a court on the phone, the name of a sponsor is been spelled, and when you arrive to play, you’ve got to look on the doors to find the name you are looking for, hence, you read the others names as well!

Plus, we sell space on the tin, half, a quarter, etc, not to mention the service box sometimes…"

And it's with that success that Paderborn started to make a name for itself in the Squash World.

How it all started
for the Worlds...

"In 2008, at the inauguration of a new extension here, we were ask to do a presentation of squash in front of about 100 dignitaries, but not on a squash court.

So we organised a lovely presentation with the kids announcing our success in the Bundesliga, in the Nationals, in the Club Championship, and we finished with our Bundesliga players pushing shopping trolleys full with the trophies we won over the year.

"We brought the house down!"

At the end, the son of the owner, Martin Nixdorf, now Head of the National Trust Fund asked Norman what event we would like to organise.

"I said, well, the 25th anniversary of the Club Championship in 2012 (we organised them in 2005), but in accordance with the German Federation, it was decided to bid for this event.

Finding a date...

Finding the date was a bit of a nightmare, as there was the Australian Open and the Hong Kong Open at the time they wanted to organise it.

"Initially, we planned to have it first week of September, but Paderborn was having a horse show at the same time, so, it would have been very difficult to get funding and marketing organised.

"I have to really thank Alex Gough for the help he gave us, as he got a lot of stick for giving us that date, without him, we couldn’t have got this event organised at all. Also, the General Secretary from the German Federation, helped us immensely by making a superb presentation in Malaysia.

"We benefitted from a great cooperation between WSF, PSA and German Federation, for which we are extremely grateful."

Adapting Skills

By trade, Norman is a Master Chef, not much to do with organising a Wolrd Event. Although I thought....

there was the Australian Open and the Hong Kong Open at the time they wanted to organise it.

"I didn’t have much experience in organising an event, so I used my skills as a Master Chef to it. I imagined this to be a 7 course meal for 7000 people! So Saturday, a “mise en bouche”, little taster, then Sunday, a nice starter, Monday, a salade composée, and so on until Saturday, with the Bombe Glacée!!!

"And each department is organised as a “station” in a restaurant, with a “Chef de Rang”, a boss for each section, Marketing, Transport, Lightening, etc…

And I am happy with the result? Well, my answer is “Bon Appétit”…

And finally

His life is a testimony to his passion for our sport, but what does he has to say about squash really...

Squash is like playing tennis in a garage, kids can have fun very quickly.

Not to mention that it’s a magnetic sport, one you start, you can bleeping stop.

It’s the healthiest drug available!!!!!!

AUSTRALIA
Anthony Ricketts


Anthony is back to his roots, bless him. I know he had a grand time coaching the New Zealand team, but he is now back home, working with the Australian Institute of Sport, who made him the great champion is is.

But also, he is now a father. And that must change a few things around...

Yes, Fram, one little girl, 18 months, and another baby on the way, who is supposed to be born two years to the day on the same day my daughter was born…

It’s amazing how your perspective changes once you become a father. Before, we were two individuals, that was trying to make a relationship work and flourish.

And suddenly a baby arrives, and you are a family, and there is a very healthy shift from individuality to that new entity, and an increase in energy in that direction…

Back to Australia



"I’ve spent three very good years in New Zealand, but I was lucky as Australia restructured his squash program, gave more funding at many level of the game, opening two part time roles for Junior Boys and Girls, and a full time role as AIS coach.

"The timing was perfect, I applied, and got the job. I’m so happy, because I was trained from day one by the AIS, it was very fitting for me, and I’m so happy to get back in that system that made me….

Adapting from Playing to Coaching

As a player, I had to work hard, I was not overly skilled with a racquet, and I had to develop a successful model for myself, which was adapted to my style of play.

So, once your career is over and that you start coaching, you start looking at the game from the different perspective, a broader one, where you are including different models, not just what applies to you only.

So, you broaden the model, and you try and pass the message on…

And what would that message be then? And where does he want to take his players?

What is crucial in a squash career is the ranking. So, we are trying to set goals at 6 months, with plenty of small steps that the players will try and reach, and we look at the tactical, technical, fitness and strength aspects.



And as the Australian squash players are not as much in contact with International competition – our players don’t have as much exposure to other style/level of play as other countries who have a lot of competitions - we have to make sure that we cover all those aspects in depth.

And at the end of the day, what I’m trying to do with the players, is to make them very hard to beat…

Welcome home, kiddo....

INDIA
Major S Maniam

Did I know that Major S Mariam, Coach to the Indian team, was actually Malaysian and not Indian – like I thought?
Pfff, when I tell you I don’t know squat about our sport…

First question I asked, “Do you have kids?”. “yes", he smiles "I have three girls.”
“Oh my poor man” I laugh”, and the reply is fast to come “Yes, it take a man to have three girls”.

Witty and cheeky? I love that...

That I knew, he was a great squash player himself, and used to be in charge of the Malaysian team for 20 years.

He then move to Chennai when his great friend N Ramachandra asked him to work with the Indian Squash Academy, a wonderful initiative from the former president of the Indian and Asian Federations, now President of WSF, more known under the nickname of Rami....

As most federation, the question is always the same, how to you get kids from all horizons to play squash.
 
“How do you get youngsters to play squash in India? First avenue, through the Club Culture that the English left us, but it’s only opened to people that are reasonably wealthy.

“The other avenue is initiatives like the one “Rami” is running for nine years now, a place where all walks of life can join. The one who have pay a bit, the needy can play for free.”

They have a great organisation, where 100 kids are coached, on three months rota. When some kids drop out, they are replaced with new arrivals, never to exceed 100. And a few of those will eventually arrive to an international level.

“Take Anaka, who did wonders in Boston a few weeks back in the Girls World in Boston, she comes from that program, along with Dipika.”

Other clubs in India are inspiring themselves from that model, within private clubs or colleges/schools, including the oldest standing squash only club in the world, Calcutta Racquet Club.

Funding for Squash

“The situation with government funding is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. They tell us, give us some good results, and we’ll give you money. To which you reply, how do you want us to get results if you don’t give us money!

“It takes somebody to break the cycle. In Malaysia it was Prince Imran who injected his own money to allow Squash to develop, and you get as a result Ben Hee, Azlan and Queen Nicol.

In India, it was our President, whose passion for squash is boundless, who broke that cycle, allowing the level of juniors to go through the roof, from 15/16th in the world to 4. Look in Herentals for the Boys, the top four were Egyptians, 5 and 6 are Indians…

“We are so proud of our improvement, whether at a junior level, or an international one, our boys and girls here have brought fame and glory to India."

As ever, what a pleasure to meet such a symbol of the universality of squash, somebody who’s got the Tshirt, printed it, wore is, worn it, and still is there to tell you about it, and with a smile.

“One can have a lot of fun in a very short time in squash, the ball seems to always being within reach, and it’s an absolutely amazingly exciting sport.

You want three words to describe squash?

I LOVE IT.”


HEAVY, MOI???

Poor Cameron Pilley. He is such a nice guy, more layed back you may fall, and I hate to do that to him but...

When Australia was playing Netherland, a match I really wanted to watch, I tried and found a little place to put my cute butt behind the glass as Dave was battling against LJ.

And next to Cam, sitting on a sort of physio table, I see a space. But as I'm approaching, Cam says "Sorry, Fram, but it won't hold two people".

Well, that was a red flag to a bull (me being the bull, of course)

"Are  you trying to tell me I'm too fat for the table then????"

Cameron, realising the twisting that any woman would have done with his words, pointed out the physio

"But, but... no Fram, it's him, he told me..." It was hysterical....

I love those moments, thanks Cam.
#1 Welcome to Paderborn ] #2 Meet Andreas ] #3 Meet more teams ] #4 Norman and more ] #5 Scotland plus ... ] [ #6 A Team and and Major ]

#6 A Team and and Major

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