Tania (L) with clubmate Ronan (R) pictured after a recent squash tournament.
We caught up with Tania from Dublin based LGBT Squash club In4Squash to chat about her experience of the club and why you should join!
What motivated you to join in4squash?
I really just needed to get out of the house, get active and meet new people, and I was curious about the sport, so I was delighted to find an LGBT group which just made it a bit more accessible for me.
What's involved in the training sessions with this club?
We train in UCD on a casual basis when people are available, but we're trying to keep Sunday sessions from 2-4pm regular. On other days people might book the courts and pop a message in our WhatsApp group for everyone to join in.
It's €5 for the two hour session, and all sessions are also announced via our Facebook group. It's very beginner friendly and we have spare racquets if you let us know you're coming, all you need is non-marking shoes.
What do in4squash have planned for the summer?
We just had our annual National Tournament this past weekend, and next up we'll be hosting the International LGBT Squash Tournament in November. There's an international tournament somewhere in Europe every month where everyone can sign up and participate, even beginners! Just check out gaysquash.com! Training can be a bit irregular over the summer as people are away, but we should be back to regular sessions soon!
In what ways do you think you have benefited from being a member this club?
I've definitely benefited physically. Squash is a super diverse sport that has you running, jumping, lunging and diving; every game is like a complete HIIT session (bonus information: Forbes has ranked squash as the number-one healthiest sport after taking calorie burn, cardio endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and injury risk into consideration!). And mentally I've been challenged in a good way, as I've seen myself get competitive in a way I've never experienced before.
What advice would you have for someone who is thinking of joining the club but is a bit uncertain?
Just do it! Squash is so much fun! It took me some time to be brave enough to actually go, but the group is a lovely bunch so there's no reason to hesitate! When you come to a session, we'll go through the rules (they're extremely simple) and different shots on a one to one basis before we throw you in on the court. People are really easy, and we're a good mix both beginners and advanced players. We occasionally hire a coach to do a 5 week programme with us, so there are good chances to progress if you like or just keep it casual, we've room for everyone!
How can people contact you?
The best way to stay updated is to join our Facebook group in4squash Ireland and of course you can also always reach out to me on 083 855 9099