For years, the Gym at Southport Athletic — originally the Southport Racquet Club, then the Southport Athletic Club — was one of the only places around here to play squash. Its 4 courts became even more precious when the Westport Y built its facility at Mahackeno. The old building downtown had 3 courts. The new one has none.
But the game has enjoyed steady local growth. And that growth is spurred by young players.
They like its fast pace, tactical complexity and physical challenge. It doesn’t hurt that colleges are adding teams — and look favorably upon applicants who play squash.
This year, Staples High School formed boys and girls squads. The athletic department pays for buses. Students and parents raised money for a coach (Atilla Agh), and court time. They joined nearby teams like Fairfield Ludlowe High and Greens Farms Academy that also train there.
Playing against those schools, and others including Darien, New Canaan, Rye, St. Luke’s and Hopkins, the Wreckers have done well.
But word on the Post Road is that the Gym at Southport Athletic may be removing its courts, to add space for other activities. That would leave Staples’ program out in the cold.
Though the Y is the obvious choice as a site for new courts, it won’t happen soon — if ever. Any decision about what to do with its newly purchased Red Barn property is far off.
Parents and players have worked hard to grow their sport. But they fear for its future.
The ball may soon be out of their court.