Sandra's 'dying wish' to keep sport going
WANTING to fulfil the wish of his dying wife, Bill Crawford is upset at the looming closure of more squash courts.
He's angry that two of the six existing courts at the Ipswich Police Citizens Youth Club are to be refurbished for other uses.
Given Healthworks at Brassall is the only other Ipswich venue with squash courts, Crawford is struggling to understand why more court closures are being made.
That is especially after the Ipswich squash volunteer lost his wife Sandra in a September 2009 road accident. Tireless worker Sandra was on her way to the Australian masters squash titles in Melbourne.
Bill survived the tragic accident.
"One of her dying wishes was that I look after the squash at PCYC and make sure I kept it running,'' Bill said.
The couple were married for 40 years and devoted countless hours to keeping squash going in the city.
Like Bill, Sandra had a long association with the game as a player and official, serving many important roles in the sport.
They had lived in Ipswich since 1979 after Bill received an air force posting.
Sandra started at the now defunct Raceview squash centre before Bill joined. The pair took on multiple roles.
Police Citizens Youth Clubs Queensland general manager - operations Kel Clarke confirmed that two Ipswich courts would soon be refurbished.
He said the decision was made to provide extra floor space "for ever-growing programs and activities as well as enabling their gym to go 24 hours''.
"It is vital that we keep up-to-date with ongoing maintenance, which also allows us to determine future needs of an ever-increasing community as we go forward," Clarke said.
"Sadly in any organisation there are changes made and we have had to make some decisions that some people in the community may not like.
"Our staff have spoken to the Ipswich Squash Club president several times over the past few weeks, and the CEO and I even mentioned the forthcoming changes to the Mayor recently.
"To implement our new programs and activities, we need more floor space to cater for ever-increasing members and we have had to remove two squash courts from the complex.''
Clarke said PCYC Queensland was a trusted charitable not-for-profit organisation, supporting more than 75,000 members across 54 branches from Cape York to the Gold Coast.
He said the body was a leading provider of sport and community recreation programs, services and facilities.
PCYC Ipswich was opened in November 1965. It is now one of the largest PCYC clubs in the state.
Clarke hoped the expansion continued to cater for more community activities.
"This still leaves the Ipswich Squash Club members with four courts to compete,'' he said.
"In fact, PCYC Redcliffe has four courts at its facility and continues to run fixtures, pennants and state competitions.''
Clarke said the squash court development would enable a large multi-purpose space to become available. He said this could be used for group fitness, other sports and youth development opportunities.
"So we believe with a little better timetabling, everyone will be happy with the outcome of the refurbishment we are about to undertake," Clarke said.