Participants and spectators at the 2012 Allam British Open Masters squash tournament were treated to the perfect playing and viewing environment thanks to a £1million investment from the Coolhurst Lawn Tennis & Squash club in 4 new glass-backed squash courts, all served by fans from Elta.
The Coolhurst club, founded in 1903, is a private members club in Crouch End, North London. The Number 1 court, one of the four new courts completed in March 2012, features a banked viewing gallery with a capacity for 150 spectators, making it the ideal venue for this year’s Masters championships staged on 12-16th May.
Given the vigorous nature of squash, condensation can prove a problem, not only affecting the game itself with sweating walls changing the bounce of the ball but also being potentially dangerous due to players losing their footing and sustaining injuries. The presence of spectators, as was the case for the Masters tournament, also increases the relative humidity which further adds to the problem. Efficient ventilation of courts is therefore very important, with the recommendation being 4 to 5 air changes per hour.
Six Elta SCP fans from distributor SK Sales in Basildon were installed to extract and replenish the air, drawing it across the courts from the ventilation inlet holes in the ‘tin’. The SCP is a compact, slim profile plate mounted axial fan, offering efficient lightweight yet robust motors with proven reliability and is widely used in squash courts, as well as other sports and leisure applications.
John Gidman is Chief Executive of Metro International and project managed the 12 month redevelopment programme. He commented - “Coolhurst was a difficult project but the collaborative nature of the team made it work, from the planning permission stage to opening the doors achieved in just 12 months.”
The addition of the 4 new courts brings the total number available to Coolhurst’s squash members to 7, with 5 of them glass-backed and offering a choice of playing surfaces and conditions. The new courts are the only ones in London featuring moveable walls, allowing the playing area to be increased to accommodate doubles matches – the first in the UK to be approved by the World Federation of Squash.
The new building constructed to accommodate the courts also features a fitness gym and table tennis hall.