What's in our newsletter this week ... 

* Gym exercises to improve racket sports performance

* Tennis: Club Champs draws announced

* Squash: Brian Martin passes away

* Jeremy Arthur: the stay at home Dad

* Welcome to new and renewing members

* Pilates on the Court: book online

* Lost property

* Visitor fees

* Security

* Volunteer bar duty

* March membership renewals

Gym exercises to improve racket sports performance

HBPRC Personal Trainer Siggy Brookland gives the first in a weekly series of exercise tips and information for improving racket sports performance
Mobility Tip: Ultimate pec stretch - fix that slouch

The supine pectoralis stretch works a treat for uncovering those hidden spots of tightness in the chest - a major contributor to a kyphotic posture (rounded shoulders), an issue seen too often in today's population.

First off, what are the pecs?

The pecs refer to the pectoralis muscle group; containing the pectoralis major and minor. These are the muscles of the chest, and they are super important in contributing to healthy shoulder and scapula (shoulder blade) mobility, stability and strength throughout different directions of movement, such as rotation, pushing and moving the arms away from and towards the body.

When these muscles become tight, this manifests into constantly protracted and anteriorly tilted shoulder blades - rounded/hunched shoulders. Basically this is bad posture that creates a negative impact on the body's movement patterns and performance. This restricts our ability to utilise our full lung capacity and take deeper breaths, causes chronic back pain especially in the upper back, increases the chance of shoulder injuries, restricts shoulder movement and much more. Hence, stretching the pecs helps to restore upright posture, reduce our risk of injury and increase shoulder/scapula function and performance - especially for racket sports.

So ... here is my favourite go-to pec stretch. The supine bench pec stretch.


This is the ultimate stretch as it works to remove lower back compensation typically seen in standing pec stretches and directly isolates the pectoralis muscle group for a full stretch, unlocking your shoulder mobility.
Movement compensation refers to a movement pattern that your body takes when your desired and optimal movement pattern isn't possible. With this stretch, we are removing the body's ability to compensate for your tight shoulders and limited range of motion via hyperextension of the lumbar spine (lower back) and tackling the tight pecs directly.

This is an important exercise for people faced with a kyphotic 'rounded shoulder' posture. It is perfect for building overall stronger shoulders and overhead mobility for daily movements and racket sports.

Give it a go in your next gym or pre-game warm up.
Siggy Brookland 
HBPRC Personal Trainer 


Club Champs draws announced

Draws for the club champs and info on how to schedule matches will be posted on the club website this week. Matches will be played over the next three weeks leading up to our finals day of Sunday, 7 April. Entrants will receive full details of draws and comp rules via email. Any questions please contact Simon at

Senior club night Thursday & Sunday club day 

No excuses not to join us for some social and friendly match play on Thursday night from 6.30pm or on Sunday afternoon from 1 to 3pm. New members welcome.

Junior club night Friday, weekend interclub, and junior programmes

Junior club night runs Fridays from 4.30pm–6pm, under watchful eye of our coaching staff; please note that this week we will be starting to play some junior club champs games as part of club night, if you are scheduled to play we will be in touch.
Junior Saturday and Sunday interclub continues this weekend, draws are here:
Junior after-school programmes are running now. Contact club professional David Mustard on 021 476 606 for more info.


Brian Martin passes away

Sadly last week Brian Martin passed away. Brian was an active squash player, a very popular member and a generous sponsor of the club. The majority of the plumbing fittings for the current facility were provided by Brian through his company LG Carder and he sponsored the C grade squash tournament annually.  We would like to acknowledge Brian’s contribution to the club.

Auckland District Superchamps

Entries for Auckland District Superchamps will open on Monday 17 June and close 5pm Wednesday 3 July.  Venues will be allocated once entries have closed. Now is a good time to start thinking about teams.

There has been a small review of the national rules which has necessitated a few changes to the district rules.  Please take particular note of;

  • Team Playing Order (Rule 16iii) – within each half grade players may be submitted in order of playing strength to a maximum of 100 points difference
  • Player Eligibility (Rule 11iii) – players must play interclub for that club (or not play interclub for another club).  There may be dispensations available as per Rule 11(viii) as in the past, however these may be more strictly applied and may require approval from Squash NZ
  • The grading list eligibility date is the 14th June, meaning only a 6-week window before the tournament which has been traditionally 8 weeks.  The main benefit of having the districts played before the end of July is clubs have a small window to get funding applications in if they manage to get to National Finals which typically close at the end of each month
  • Once again, to be eligible players must have played a minimum of three competitive matches with results showing on the grading list between 1 January 2019 and 14 June 2019

The 2019 National Finals will be held from 25-28 September at the following venues;

B Grade – Whakatane Squash Club

C Grade – SquashCity Invercargill

D Grade – Whangarei Squash Club

E Grade – Tawa Squash Club (Wellington)

F/J Grade – Cambridge Rackets Club

For more information visit

Online Club Referee Exam

This is a great starting point for both new and experienced players to ensure you can be confident of the rules.  

All players competing in competitive play such as interclub and tournaments are expected to have completed and passed the exam.

The exam consists of 50 multi-choice questions and can be fully completed online through the Squash NZ website.  The Club Referee qualification is valid for two years from the time of completion.  Both players and non-players are able to complete the exam.  

Link to online Club Referee Exam - Click here

List of current qualified Club Referees - Click here

A great video library to help you with your refereeingClick here

Rules Evenings

Squash Auckland is hosting a series Rules Evenings where players can learn about the rules of squash in a fun, informative session which include Q&A's where you can ask for answers to those questions you've always wanted to know.  For dates and locations of upcoming Rules Nights Click here.

Senior club night

Senior club night starts at 6.30pm on Thursdays. Come along and meet fellow club members.  We rotate games every 10-15 minutes 

Junior club night 

Join Jarrod and his team on Friday nights from 4pm to 6pm for coaching, fun games and just a little bit of competition.

Jeremy Arthur: the stay at home Dad


Peter Cross talks to one of our newer members

My week has twin highlights. There’s the weekly grudge match against Kevin Williams where we defy the ravages of time and knock around a single dot for at least an hour then there’s club night, especially the post squash drink.

Attendance and quality of participants has improved since the arrival of George Crosby and the same can be said of the after game entertainment after Jeremy joined our ranks a mere six months ago.  Jeremy and George are neighbours and live a short walk from the club. Between them they treat the rest of us to a digest of local life and insider knowledge of its privileged and pampered residents. Each week we learn about someone with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement who hasn’t cottoned on that there isn’t an underling to return his wheelie bin to his property, angst caused by motorists parking in cycle lanes and potential early morning lie-ins disturbed by someone else wanting to use a private heliport. Or then again there’s tittle-tattle acquired while waiting to pick up kids from Bayfield Primary. Summed up like this these stories don’t sound much but told by a talented raconteur they are utterly enthralling. Both George and Jeremy have a nose for the absurd and these juicy morsels are passed on with glee and without malice.

I was keen to talk to Jeremy as he is, as stated, a stay at home dad. But before we get to that there ought to be a gentle canter through his career and sporting history.

Unlike many of the people I’ve spoken to so far, Jeremy doesn’t come from a sporting family. Back in the day his parents might have had the odd game of badminton but that was it. However Stella Boswell, his best friend’s mum, was an A1 player so Jeremy got coached and played at Royal Oak from the age of 10. He played rugby at school which he abandoned for football; played a bit of tennis and captained the school squash team. At 20 he turned his back on ball games concentrating instead on his job and an activity sometimes referred to as elbow lifting.

Job-wise, Jeremy claims to be the black sheep of the family as he didn’t go into banking like his mother and siblings. As an aside this reminds me of a story told me by an electrician mate of mine back in the old country. Eddie became a football referee eventually presiding over games between top non leagues clubs. He took his kids to a game once and the crowd were giving him a hard time. On the way home one of his children told him that the spectators had got his profession wrong. Apparently they kept singing, “The referees a banker.”                

So instead of banking Jeremy opted for a management training scheme with Foodtown. He loved it, working in all the various departments: everywhere from the bakery section to butchery, fruit and veg to time on checkouts and moving around different stores. He spent a decade with the company before moving on.

And so to Philip Morris: the tobacco barons, where for the next decade, he became a top salesman. The company was keen to push their Marlboro brand in New Zealand. Jeremy did his bit becoming the Kiwi number one salesman for Marlboro Lite. His prize was a trip to Fiji where he met Allison, a Canadian, who became his wife. Some prize.

Allison and Jeremy moved from Auckland to Wellington where Allison pursued her legal training and at this point the family black sheep decided to come good and become a banker, in his case a personal banker with BNZ where instead of selling cigarettes he sold debt. We spoke about his work there and Jeremy gave me examples of the sort of insights you get just by studying a person’s banking habits.    

The couple returned to Auckland and Jeremy resumed playing squash joining the Eden Epsom club which is spitting distance from where I’m writing this.

I’m guessing there have always been stay at home dads, my brother Arvid was one when his kids were small. But I suppose it was something you kept quiet about like collecting stamps or being a cross dresser. Then our beloved leader Jacinda Ardern and her better half Clarke Gayford had a first born and our Prime Minister opted to rub shoulders with Angela Merkel, Winston Peters and that funny American with the orange hair to changing nappies. So what once might have seemed unthinkable got an official seal of approval. I don’t know about you but given the choice of buttering up Trump or changing nappies I’d opt for the soiled diapers.

For Allison and Jeremy it was a slow and considered transition. Initially Jeremy stayed at home one day a week when Alison returned to work and gradually her days increased. Four years after the birth of Clementine, Teddy (Theodore) was born. And so when Alison returned to work after Teddy was born Jeremy became the lead parent. When Jeremy took on this role he was aware of four other guys who are what you might call male housewives. In the four years since that number has tripled. He loves his job the same as the other guys he speaks to. They all seem to agree that shaking off the gender stereotype is the best thing they have ever done. He concedes that this role is not for everyone and he also considers himself extremely lucky that he and Allison can do this.

A while back George was telling me that walking to Bayfield Primary with Jeremy my subject was approached by one of the mums bursting to pass on some juicy story.  This brings me to my final point. As a rule journalists can be roughly divided into two groups: those of us who are good with words, who can make words dance on a page and create prose out of thin air, and newshounds.

Jeremy Arthur has probably never written anything for publication but he ought to. It’s not just that he got a great nose for an interesting story but there’s something about his open, curious and friendly disposition that attracts stories to him. What I’m saying is that the stuff he tells us on Thursday nights ought to be recorded. It’s too good to waste.

And he’s a pretty good squash player as well.

Welcome to new and renewing members

New members

Jason Kennedy (tennis)
Bryce Redman (gym)

Renewing members

Travis McIntosh (squash + gym)
Bruce Aroll (gym)
Bhuvan Nathan (gym)
Stuart George (squash)

Pilates on the Court

You can now book your Pilates sessions online! 
Book either classes or private one-on-one sessions!

Pilates classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9.30am and Saturdays at 10am.

Need to speak with Pia? Call her on 029 6277 437

5 classes for $50 - Introductory Offer.  

"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness”  Joseph Pilates

Lost property

We have so many hoodies and drink bottles here at the club. Lost property will be displayed under the telly in the Club Lounge for one week. Please come inside/upstairs and look for your child’s hoodie, hat, racquet cover, drink bottles etc. Any unclaimed items will be donated to Sacred Heart Ponsonby Church’s outreach programme for underprivileged families and refugees.

Visitor fees

We love that you want to share our Club with your friends. If they are not a member of the Club, they are welcome but please put $20 cash in the drop box next to the Pro Shop with your name on it if there is no one in the bar or in the office. Perhaps even entice them to join to avoid further visitor fee charges.


Please ensure:

1. That you are the only person using your Access Card.

2. That the Club is locked up and secure before you leave, day or night.

3. That if you open the doors onto the deck or in the gym, that you close them.

This is for your safety and the safety of everyone.

Volunteer bar duty

Thank you so much for those who responded to our call-out for new volunteers! Welcome to the team.
Currently we need bar staff on 6th, 8th ,9th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 27th covered. Can one of these days be you?

March membership renewals

All members whose membership expires in March will have received an email from Pia last week. This week you should have received a phone call too. If you believe your membership is due in March and have not received an email or call, please contact the office. We are keen to have you all back this year!

Useful links to sports bodies and our sponsors

Our web site:

Please join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: 

Additional Info:

David Mustard Tennis:

Double Dot Squash: 

Pilates on the Court:

Herne Bay Fitness Personal Training:


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