“As put by David Connolly: ‘the best player gets the same welcome as someone who has never hit a ball before’. The snobbery that is sometimes attached to sports like these has definitely been squashed here.”
The time has finally come; the most elusive society in Trinity is about to be unravelled. A group so mysterious that their very existence is disputed – Trinity Squash. Last Tuesday, I went out to the college squash courts at Trinity Hall in Rathmines to unpack Trinity Squash and all that happens on, and off, the courts. There I met up with club captain and professional women’s team member, Tamaki Marumo and the men’s team captain David Connolly, who explained exactly what it is to ‘squash’.
Sitting outside the fluorescent courts, listening to the squeak of white-soled shoes, the pair spoke about what exactly this racket sport has done for them at Trinity. Tamaki, having started Squash at the age of six in Japan, found that the thing keeping her playing at Trinity was the community. She explained that it was one of the reasons she settled in so quickly. In fact, after speaking with a few more of the club members, it seemed that only half of the time that the players met was actually to play squash- the other fifty percent, for pints. The relaxed atmosphere quickly became apparent, as people appeared from the courts laughing and joking post-match.
This casual and friendly atmosphere is obviously conducive to the team’s productivity, as the Club’s Irish Inter-varsity Tournament record is without peer. The men’s team currently hold the trophy- and have done for the past ten years- under the supervision of coach Elvy d’Costa, resident coach for twenty-six years at Trinity college.
It was refreshing to enter into a competitive atmosphere where nobody had an agenda. As put by David Connolly: “the best player gets the same welcome as someone who has never hit a ball before”. The snobbery that is sometimes attached to sports like these has definitely been squashed here. A healthy rivalry was present- but no pressure, no cliques. Many college sports clubs could learn a lot from the supportive and accepting atmosphere promoted by Trinity Squash. The competing nature of sport provides its own anxieties, and so the way in which a club is run should facilitate the players to the best of its abilities, not curb enthusiasm and demand devotion.
Ultimately, this is a society for any student genuinely trying to find a community to fall into. It also doesn’t hurt that one can burn 981 calories per match; and that’s without even winning.