Squashed by increased fees

The Barbados Squash Association (BSA) has been hit with a hike in court fees by the management of the Barbados Squash Club located at Marine Gardens, Christ Church.

Speaking after an outstanding showing from Barbados’ junior national players at the just concluded United States Open, president of the BSA Allison Smith-Padmore told Barbados TODAY that instead of paying the customary BDS$10 for each hour any of the three respective courts at the club was occupied, they are now being asked to pay an additional fifty percent more.

Barbados Junior Squash team won the Caribbean Area Squash Association Championship earlier this year in Guyana.
President of the Barbados Squash Association, Allison Smith- Padmore

She explained that the squash association in more than one way would feel the impact of this sudden rise in fees.

“We just learnt that the squash club has increased its court fees, so we have to look now to see how that will impact our training because times are limited as well [on court] and therefore it will be challenging for us going forward.

“Every time we use the court, every hour we pay a fee, right now it is ten Barbados dollars, they have increased it by fifty percent which is now fifteen dollars for every hour we use the court,” Smith- Padmore said, while stressing the effect it would have on the junior players especially.

“Our juniors need four hours a day for training and that is really going to impact on their training. In addition to the cost of the court, we are also competing with adult members because the squash club is a private club, so we are competing with them for court time. So we have to see how best to work with that going forward, but I know it is going to be very challenging for us,” Smith-Padmore said.

Asked about the reason given for the hike in court fees, she explained: “They basically said they did a review of the court usage and found that the fees we currently pay are not sufficient to cover the cost of running the court.”

According to Smith-Padmore, Barbados’ juniors were very passionate about the sport and therefore with this latest development they would need assistance going forward.

Barbados’ juniors recently performed well at the just concluded Canadian and United States Squash Open respectively, with number one female player in Barbados and the Caribbean region, Meagan Best, creating history on the international stage yet again with gold in the Under-17 Girls Division at the US Open. Squash will be a showcase sport at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Barbados’ juniors will be hoping the increased fees will not compromise their training opportunities.

Smith-Padmore highlighted that squash was on the path to being well represented in Barbados and encouraged all the juniors to keep training hard and to remain focused and committed.

“The juniors are very passionate about their squash and we can see that they want to go far with it. And with squash being a showcase sport for the upcoming Youth Olympics, we have a lot of opportunities, we have some of the best squash players in Barbados, and our Barbadian juniors can go very far. We will need lots of assistance and support if they are to realize these successes,” Smith-Padmore said.

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