Watsonian Squash Courts Capital Project

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<strong>Watsonian</strong><br />

<strong>Squash</strong> Rackets Club<br />

<strong>Capital</strong> <strong>Project</strong><br />

Fundraising Target £180,000<br />

Our Vision<br />

Their Future

Our Club’s History<br />

The <strong>Watsonian</strong> <strong>Squash</strong> Rackets Club was founded by<br />

Jimmie Allan and David Bogle in 1934 and has, for<br />

over 80 years, contributed to the sport in Scotland,<br />

with inaugural members being instrumental in the<br />

establishment of the Scottish <strong>Squash</strong> Racquets<br />

Association and the Club being a founding member of<br />

the national organisation. The Club has produced many<br />

internationalists, coaches and officials. <strong>Watsonian</strong>s<br />

have won a national league title and two East of<br />

Scotland Men’s Division 1 titles; and the Club was<br />

voted East of Scotland Club of the Year 2018. There are<br />

currently 120 adult members and 25 junior members.<br />

The Club and<br />

George Watson’s College<br />

The school produced many successful teams and<br />

junior internationalists between the 1950’s and 1980’s,<br />

winning the Bath Cup (British Schools) in 1980 and<br />

multiple Scottish championships. The sport fell out<br />

of favour, but has seen both a resurgence in interest<br />

and success in recent years. Success the Club hopes<br />

will continue to develop through its growing junior<br />

membership. The school is also developing squash<br />

as a mainstream sport and the appointment of Jamie<br />

Henderson – Scottish <strong>Squash</strong> Internationalist – as<br />

School Coach, will encourage and help pupils develop<br />

their skills.<br />

Our Club Home at Myreside Pavilion<br />

When Myreside Pavilion was completed in the mid-<br />

1930s, the facilities – funded by Club members<br />

– included two of the first squash courts built in<br />

Scotland. The Club has been at the forefront of<br />

Scottish <strong>Squash</strong> since its inauguration and Myreside<br />

Pavilion has now been home to the <strong>Watsonian</strong> <strong>Squash</strong><br />

Rackets Club for over 80 years.<br />

During the 1970s, there was a boom in the number<br />

of people playing squash and this led to a significant<br />

upgrade to the facilities. Thanks to the support of<br />

Club members, two additional courts opened in 1980.<br />

Over the years, the number of playable courts has<br />

fluctuated and the quality of the playing surface<br />

in the original courts has deteriorated. Now, four<br />

decades on from the last major investment, the<br />

Club – with the support of the school – is launching<br />

a fundraising appeal to raise £180,000 for a complete<br />

overhaul and refurbishment of the playing and<br />

changing room facilities.<br />

Following the fire, the electrical systems in the main<br />

Pavilion, which connect to the squash courts, are<br />

due to be replaced by the school. To mitigate against<br />

any future risks, all electrical wiring, switches and<br />

devices in the squash courts will also be replaced. In<br />

additional, new security equipment will be installed<br />

to enhance the safety of the facility for users.

The Club Today<br />

The Club has nearly 150 adult and junior members,<br />

supports the wider Scottish squash community,<br />

and provides coaching to pupils from local schools.<br />

The Club’s regular programme of activity includes:<br />

monthly mini leagues for all playing standards;<br />

tournaments – including a handicapped event, an over<br />

35 tournament, an under 35 tournament, an over 50<br />

championship, and two Junior Big Shots tournaments;<br />

Saturday social squash; weekend coaching sessions<br />

for adults and juniors; team squash – the Club runs<br />

four men’s teams and one ladies team in the East<br />

of Scotland Leagues; junior squash – the Club runs<br />

four teams in the East Junior Leagues; and, junior<br />

community use in partnership with the school and<br />

Scottish <strong>Squash</strong>.<br />

The Club has nearly 150<br />

adult and junior members,<br />

supports the wider Scottish<br />

squash community,<br />

and provides coaching to<br />

pupils from local schools.<br />

Junior <strong>Squash</strong> Pathway Programme<br />

The Club recognises the importance of a thriving<br />

Junior Section and since 2012, has offered a Junior<br />

Membership. With the support of the school, East of<br />

Scotland and Scottish <strong>Squash</strong>, the Club has developed<br />

a group of talented juniors. In the past five years this<br />

has resulted in many successes, including: four juniors<br />

representing Scotland, 12 juniors representing East<br />

of Scotland and earning the title of East Junior Team<br />

Champions.<br />

In 2019, the Club developed an Academy and Junior<br />

Pathway Programme. The Programme currently has<br />

20 juniors, recruited from Watson’s and other local<br />

primary schools.

Our Ambitious Plans for the Future<br />

The <strong>Squash</strong> Club proposal is to redevelop the facilities<br />

at Myreside Pavilion by upgrading all four courts,<br />

including turning the two original courts through 180<br />

degrees. This reorientation will allow access to all<br />

four courts from one central area. In addition, a small<br />

extension to the western elevation will provide an<br />

expanded lobby and recreational area.<br />

The fire at Myreside Pavilion in February 2020 came<br />

as devastating news and has for the last 10 months<br />

meant that the squash courts have been out of action.<br />

With this devastating news, came an opportunity<br />

and we have now moved forward our plans and<br />

hope – with your support – to be able to complete the<br />

squash court project alongside the ambitious plans<br />

the school has to reimagine Myreside Pavilion as a<br />

<strong>Watsonian</strong> Centre.<br />

These significant upgrades would not only allow<br />

the school to coordinate training sessions for more<br />

children and allow the Club to recruit more members,<br />

the facilities would provide national standard facilities<br />

and allow the school and Club to increase the range<br />

of activities they can provide to pupils, members,<br />

partnership schools and community groups.<br />

<strong>Project</strong> Impacts:<br />

The key benefits of developing the <strong>Watsonian</strong><br />

<strong>Squash</strong> Hub at Myreside Pavilion are:<br />

• Four national level courts<br />

• Capacity to host regional and national junior<br />

competitions<br />

• Enhanced facilities will encourage more school<br />

pupils to participate in squash<br />

• Enhanced facilities will allow the school to<br />

expand its outreach partnerships with school<br />

and community groups<br />

• Improved security and health & safety, as all<br />

courts are accessed from one central hall<br />

• Significant improvement to building flow for<br />

coaching staff, players and spectators<br />

• The increase in squash activity will lead to<br />

increased use of other facilities at Myreside<br />

Pavilion.<br />

<strong>Watsonian</strong> <strong>Squash</strong> Hub Floorplan Illustration

An Ambitious Vision for the Future<br />

Our aim is to raise £180,000 for an ambitious capital<br />

project, which would allow us to significantly upgrade<br />

and improve the squash facilities at Myreside Pavilion;<br />

and develop them into a national standard Hub<br />

for squash. A Hub that encourages individuals to<br />

participate in both social and competitive squash.<br />

The <strong>Watsonian</strong> <strong>Squash</strong> Rackets Club is thriving,<br />

but if we want to continue to provide facilities that<br />

support the large number of teams playing in the<br />

East of Scotland Leagues; make our ambitious plans<br />

to grow our Junior Section a reality; and, have four<br />

national level standard courts – all accessed from a<br />

central hall – then the time has come when we need to<br />

make significant upgrades and improvements to our<br />

facilities at Myreside Pavilion.<br />

If our plans are achieved, the Pavilion will become<br />

home to the <strong>Watsonian</strong> <strong>Squash</strong> Hub. A facility that will<br />

allow us to grow the range of activities we can deliver<br />

for George Watson’s College pupils, our community<br />

and school partners and the <strong>Squash</strong> Club’s adult and<br />

junior members.<br />

Please Pledge Your Support Today<br />

The Club has been working with the school on these<br />

exciting plans for a number of years and during that<br />

time has been setting aside funds to help make<br />

this ambitious vision a reality. The Club has raised<br />

£60,000 to contribute to the fundraising target and we<br />

are now asking you to consider helping us to achieve<br />

our fundraising goal.<br />

We have already secured contributions of an<br />

additional £52,500 towards our goal, taking our total<br />

to £112,500. We are now asking you to pledge your<br />

support and help us raise the balance of £67,500.<br />

Every gift we receive, no matter what size, will be<br />

another step towards us achieving our shared vision<br />

for the future.<br />

If our plans are achieved,<br />

the Pavilion will become home<br />

to the <strong>Watsonian</strong> <strong>Squash</strong> Hub.

How to Donate<br />

Every donation, no matter what size, will move us<br />

closer towards reaching our fundraising goal. With<br />

your support, we will be able to achieve our vision to<br />

develop the <strong>Watsonian</strong> <strong>Squash</strong> Hub at Myreside. You<br />

have an opportunity to be part of what is arguably the<br />

most ambitious project in the Club’s history.<br />

A project that will provide four national level courts<br />

for Watson’s pupils, Club members; as well as pupils<br />

from local schools and other community groups –<br />

individuals who might not, otherwise, ever have the<br />

opportunity to pick-up a squash racquet.<br />

You can make a donation online now at<br />

www.gwc.org.uk/squashcourtsappeal<br />

Or by sending a cheque, payable to the George<br />

Watson’s Family Foundation, to the Development<br />

Office at the address listed below.<br />

If you are a UK taxpayer, then please consider signing<br />

a gift aid certificate, which will add an additional<br />

£2.50 to every £10.00 you donate.<br />

For further information, or other ways to donate,<br />

please email development@gwc.org.uk<br />

<br />

What a donation of £1,000 would<br />

cost you, as a UK taxpayer:<br />

If you pay income tax at 40%, after gift aid<br />

and higher rate tax relief, the cost for you<br />

would be £600. Your initial net donation<br />

would be £800<br />

If you pay income tax at 45%, after gift aid<br />

and higher rate tax relief, the cost for you<br />

would be £550. Your initial net donation<br />

would be £800.<br />

Please help us achieve<br />

our goal by pledging your<br />

support today.<br />

Development Office, George Watson’s College,<br />

Colinton Road, Edinburgh EH10 5EG<br />

T: 0131 446 6000 E: development@gwc.org.uk<br />

The George Watson’s Family Foundation Registered Charity SC004818<br />

Administered by the Edinburgh Merchant Company Education Board, a<br />

charity registered in Scotland SC009747

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