After three years travelling the world, it's time to discover my home town.
Published December 1st 2011
Squash. The forgotten middle child of racquet sports, wedged between the glamorous, self-important older sibling that is tennis, and that cheeky little attention-seeker ping pong.
Well it's time to give the long neglected middle child some attention and pop over to Norwood Squash Centre. Located at the corner of The Parade and Portrush Road, the venue offers seven "Championship Squash Courts" for all your squashing needs.
I should clarify that this was my first time playing the game, and know little to nothing about the sport. It did seem quite easy to pick up compared to tennis, so is well worth a crack for someone who doesn't have enough racquet sports in their life.
The game has pretty straightforward rules, and is extremely fast paced, so expect to be gasping for breath after a few points. Granted, I could just be unfit, but it does seem to be a particularly demanding game.
Smacking a ball into a wall can be quite therapeutic.
With fluorescent lights and mesh wire hanging from the ceiling, there is a very sterile feel to the place, but I understand this is common to most squash courts.
As for the venue itself, change rooms are available, and the courts seem in good nick. At the front counter squash racquets can be rented ($2 per half hour) or bought, while shoes and headbands are also on sale.
Balls are available for free, but come in different varieties. If you're a beginner, be sure to ask for the balls with a blue dot, as they play a bit slower. Ball speed from slowest to fastest is: blue-red-yellow-double yellow.
A restring service is also available for both squash and tennis racquets ($20-$40).
Open seven days a week, court rental will set you back $11.30 per half hour before five pm, and after that $13.
The centre is quite busy, particularly in the evenings, so be sure to phone ahead (8431 5851).