Following this, Peterborough Town Sports Club has been named Club of the Month for April, after the funds raised helped restore a retired show court back to its former glory.
The court was officially inaugurated on Saturday, May 22 with a few friendly rounds of racket ball played between club members.
Spearheaded by Squash Club Chairman Neil Hoskin, the club raised an extraordinary £40,000 during the pandemic to fund renovation work. Now close to completion, the work was funded without the need for any borrowing.
“The show court, which was built in the 70s, was transformed into a climbing wall in 1995, and for decades, we’ve been desperate as a club to get it back,” said Neil.
Since Neil took over as Chairman in 2018, the club has refurbished all four existing courts.
“I’ve been hell-bent on restoring the old show court since I came in post but knew it was an ambitious undertaking as we have little money.
“Covid struck and lockdown gave us the time and energy to finally formulate a plan and create a funding strategy. The club committee shared the load and it really paid off - this really has been a remarkable team effort!”
And Neil believes they achieved their goal thanks to the squash community and local businesses buying into the project.
“I think people got involved in our mission because they really wanted to be a part of something,” explained Neil.
“There’s a few ways that we managed to raise the money, one of which was seating plaques that members could add a few personal words to – that raised over £5,000.
“Additionally, we offered out a new £500 membership package to existing and new members.
“Usually, our membership is around £120 per year that people pay upfront so with the new three year membership, we said to people we would include a plaque and £100 worth of court fees credited to their account when we’re back open – that raised over £7,000.
“I’d also like to say we were helped out tremendously by two donors, both of which gave us £5,000 each - a process facilitated by Cambridgeshire Squash Rackets Association.
“Ultimately, when it comes to our members, I think they all saw what we were trying to do as a club and they bought in – they wanted to be a part of helping us to improve the club and the facilities.”
A raffle raised them £2,000 while a community grant from their local Tesco helped them to secure an additional £1,000.
Corporate sponsors also played their part in helping to raise money too, with the club managing to secure around £14,000 to help contribute towards new heating and flooring.
And alongside this, the club utilised Gift Aid to help raise further funds.
“If you’re a UK taxpayer and you donate an amount of money for no gain or purchase or reward, then HMRC will give you 25% on top of that.
“It’s a really simple thing to utilise and it helped us raise another £3,500 for our project.
With the project already in full flight, Neil and the club have their eyes firmly upon the future.
“For the official court opening, we’re planning a double header PSA tournament when restrictions finally lift and spectators are allowed, featuring 16 men and 16 women so that’s really exciting.
“We’re currently running some outdoor fitness sessions to get players squash-ready ahead of courts reopening. We’re also giving court credits out to people who have been paying their membership this entire time.
“These memberships have helped us keep going so the court credits are our way of saying thank you to our members when we’re finally able to get on court again. We can’t wait!
"We didn’t have any money at all - and then Covid struck. So this money is hugely important to us and the club."
The Sports club is finally back up and running since may 17 after months of staying closed due to lockdown restrictions.
Neil said: “I think the closure during lockdown impacted a lot of people. So, we are hoping people will now be able to return and give us a go.”
For more information click here, telephone the membership secretary on 07541 914794, or email email@example.com