Tag Archives: Southport Athletic Club

Staples Squash Team’s Growth May Be Walled In

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.

Staples' girls squash team. (Photo/Stacy Bass)

Staples’ girls squash team. (Photo/Stacy Bass)

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.


Tess’ Toys For Tots

Tess Gordon is a Westport girl with language-based learning disabilities. She attends Eagle Hill School in Southport.

Tess has learned that when her body works best, her mind works best — and she is better able to learn. So she works out regularly at Southport Athletic Club, with trainer Sean O’Connor.

Tess wanted to share her passion for exercise with her friends. So she organized a gym party to celebrate her 12th birthday — today.

Because Tess realizes how lucky she is to be at Eagle Hill (where she gets the help she needs to learn) and to attend Southport Athletic Club (where she gets the help so her body can be its best), she decided to “pay it forward.” She asked guests to bring new, unwrapped toys for donation to Toys for Tots, instead of presents for herself.

Happy birthday, Tess. And may your story inspire many more Westporters to pay it forward too!

Tess Gordon and her trainer, Sean O'Connor.

Tess Gordon and her trainer, Sean O’Connor.