What's in our newsletter this week ... 

* Squash: Herne Bay Open 26-28 April: enter in iSquash

* Tennis: Congratulations Club Champs champions

* Gym exercises to improve racket sports performance

* Pilates on the Court: book online

* New events calendar

* AGM reminder

* Welcome to new and renewing members

* Access cards

* Visitor fees

* Our People: Ash Martin




Herne Bay Open - 26-28 April 

The Herne Bay Open is being held on the weekend of 26-28 April.  This is the main event of the season for the club and provides for all grades of player.  Please get your entry in through iSquash.
The Herne Bay Open is loaded on the club Facebook page as an event for you to like and share.

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.

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

Senior club night

Senior club night starts at 6.30pm on Thursdays. Come along and meet fellow club members.  Due to the Easter holidya this will just be a social event with no organiser this week.

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.


Congratulations club champs champions!



A fantastic result from this year's club champs saw the largest number of entrants in recent years (76 seniors and juniors) contesting 17 titles across the tournament fortnight, and culminating in a brilliant finals day that had the deck heaving with 100+ of the extended HBPRC family enjoying non-stop action from noon until the end-of-day prizegiving. The overall festival vibe was enhanced by live DJs (thanks Steve!) and our ASB Classic import Matt Brown taking care of MC duties. The donation of umpire chairs from West End saw the final overseen by a chair umpire (thanks again Bryan) and some of junior entrants helped out on ball-kid duties as well. Thanks to everyone who entered and helped make the club champs such a great tournament. Keep an eye open for the next HBPRC Tour events coming up, there will be more comps to get involved in during the off-season.
The tennis subcommittee thanks everyone who contributed time and effort, including Gary and John Isbey for grooming the courts before finals day, Haydn for the awesome signage, and a special thanks to David for coordinating the junior draw — a great way to round out the 18/19 summer season!



Men's Open champion Jake Riordan, runner-up Alex Marsili

Men's Open doubles champions Jake Riordan and Blake Cloake, runners-up Alan Singam and Reece LeRoy

Women's Open doubles champions Jess Travers and Miyuki McEwen, runners-up Jacqui Mustard and Suzie Strachan

Mixed Open doubles champions Deb Carter and Reece LeRoy, runners-up Jess Travers and Simon Holloway

Men's B champion James Graham, runner-up Simon Holloway

Men's B doubles champions Jack McKinney and Haydn Rodrigues, runners-up Toby Groser and Arie Dekker

Women's B champion Kate Clausen, runner-up Hannah Partington

Women's B doubles champions Callie Fell and Carolyne Gebbie, runners-up Hannah Partington and Kate Clausen

Mixed B doubles champions Peta Drayton and Paul Qualtrough, runners-up Carolyne Gebbie and Haydn Rodrigues

Boys' 16 singles champion Taylor Riggans, runner-up Hugo Bourchier

Boys' 16 doubles champions Josh Blake and Taylor Riggans, runners-up Hugo Bourchier and James Dick

Boys' 14 singles champion Louis Gehin, runner-up Sasha Holloway

Boys' 14 doubles champions Luca Waple-Longhurst and Callum Rae, runners-up Sasha Holloway and Raneen Ravoori

Boys' 12 singles champion Callum Rae, runner-up Oliver Duff

Boys' 11 singles champion Mason Tribble, runner-up Toby McIntyre/Walker

Girls' 16 singles champion Kaya Eible, runner-up Bianca Young-Smith

Girls' 16 doubles champions Kaya Eible and Frankie Macfarlane, runners-up Ally Gothard and Sophie Grimes


For the full story of the tournament check out where the tournament draw sheets are linked with match results from all rounds.

Winter interclub

We are entering four teams into the winter interclub comp for the off-season, two men's singles and two mixed. Matches are played Sunday mornings at 10am. If you are interested in playing and haven't yet signed up for the comp please email Simon at  asap. Comp starts 5 May, and draw from Tennis Auckland should be out within the next fortnight.

DnA Anzac Day tournament

Next Thursday 25 April 3–5pm David is running a DnA (defenders and aggressors) tournament. Contact him on 021 476 606 for more info. Spaces are limited.  

Senior club night Thursday & Sunday club day 

Club day runs this Sunday 1–4pm, and club night will be on this Thursday night from 6.30pm. New members welcome.

Junior club night Friday, and junior programmes

No junior club night this week due to Easter.

For info on junor holiday programmes and coaching contact club professional David Mustard on 021 476 606.

Gym exercises to improve racket sports performance

HBPRC Personal Trainer Siggy Brookland continues his weekly series of exercise tips and information for improving racket sports performance
Increase your pulling strength: Achieving pull ups  
Pull ups are the ultimate test of upper-body muscular strength and a true indicator of how functionally strong and stable the upper body is but they are one of the hardest bodyweight exercises for people (including myself) to accomplish.

Why? Because the pull up requires you to vertically pull your entire body weight against gravity by using only your relatively smaller and weaker upper body muscles compared with your larger lower body muscle groups.

So, whether you are struggling to do your first pull up, recovering from an injury, wanting to strengthen the shoulders and back or increase your vertical pulling strength, having some options that are less intense than standard pull up are super helpful. Also, having progressions for these pull up variations allows you to slowly work towards achieving your first full pull up.

Here are seven progressive exercises that will lead the way to achieve that first pull up. Check out the short video below to see how they are performed.

1. Leg assisted barbell pull up 
2. Leg assisted barbell pull up - feet further forward 
3. Front bench feet elevated barbell pull up 
4. Front bench feet elevated barbell pull up with a weighted plate on lap 
5. Isometric holds 
6. Eccentric lowering pull ups 
7. Resistance band assisted pull-ups

Note for the setup of the barbell on squat rack, make sure that the bar is positioned at a height high enough that your torso hangs straight under the bar and arms are fully extended.
Siggy Brookland 
HBPRC Personal Trainer 

Pilates on the Court

There will be no Pilates classes on Mon 22 April or Wed 24 April

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

New Events Calendar

You will now see A3 printouts posted around that show what is happening at the club for the week. If you wish to see a full view of the month, please have a look at the A3 poster on display on the office door.


Sport Auckland has kindly offered to support the club through its annual general meeting (AGM) this year ahead of a likely review of club strategy and constitution, should the incoming committee take up that opportunity.

The AGM will take place on Thursday 9 May 2018 at 7pm.

Nominations close Tuesday 30 April and are to be emailed to Rory at Sport Auckland 

The nominees for each position will be posted at the club noticeboard and emailed out to members on Wednesday 1 May.


As per the constitution there can be a maximum of nine members of the committee and a minimum of five.  The following are mandatory positions for which nominations are sought:

VP - Tennis 
VP - Squash

Nominations are sought for these three general positions:

Facilities Officer – to co-ordinate the club’s requirements around facilities maintenance and capital projects.
Grants Officer – to co-ordinate the committee’s priorities on grants and sponsorship – with support from members and the Club Administrator.
Communications Officer – to co-ordinate the committee’s priorities with regards internal and external communications.

Current President Arie Dekker is not standing for the committee, so will automatically fill the role of: Immediate Past President          

Voting and eligibility

Voting papers will be available at the club and emailed to members in advance of the meeting.  Those members eligible to vote can email in advance of the meeting with their voting paper if they do not attend the AGM.

Voting papers will also be available for members to vote at the AGM and Sport Auckland will be present to receive these.

All voting papers will be checked against the membership database.

All membership classes except juniors are eligible to vote.  Eligible voting members will be all members of the club (including complimentaries) at 28 February 2019. 

Any members whose membership lapsed in six months up to 28 February 2019 and are active again before 28 April 2019 will also be eligible to vote, as will any members who are identified as having been paid members through the period up to the AGM, but who may have come off the membership list for some reason. 

The membership database has been subject to a thorough tidy-up and reconciliation against annual subscriptions and direct debits over the last two months and access tidied up of inactive members.

Post AGM

The current committee has asked Sport Auckland to help the new incoming committee - subject to their willingness - to help with governance and strategy.  In particular, Sport Auckland have offered to help the club with a new fit-for-purpose constitution (which would be put to members for approval during the year) and strategy (also put to members).

Welcome to new members

New members

Matt McGuiness (gym)

Nick Browett (gym)

Access cards

We have had a big clean up on our security system. If you find that your Access Card is not working please advise Pia at and she will fix this for you.

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.

Our People: Ash Martin

Peter Cross meets one of our newer members.

I’ve only ever had one ambition. And that is never to be a school teacher. I’ve had some rotten jobs in my time and my present one at the University of Auckland is nothing to write home about but even here I find solace that at least I’m not standing in front of thirty unruly thirteen-year-olds who’d far rather be at their mobiles.

During my childhood our family kitchen was frequently filled with colleagues of my schoolteacher dad: Frank “Killer” Cross. A more miserable bunch you’d never meet. They complained about kids, timetable changes, the headmaster, other teachers, education policy of the government of the day and God knows what else. There were other places in our home I could have gone to get away from this negativity but it was worth hanging around and eavesdropping for morsels of gossip that could be passed onto classmates at a later date. A lifelong mission to undermine institutions and authority figures was established before puberty.

Of course not all teachers were like these chalkface failures. There were others who seemed to like schoolchildren, who enjoyed their work, made learning fun and while with them school felt more like a holiday camp than a prison - but that breed didn’t come to our kitchen. One such person was a raven-haired beauty called Miss Candy who never came to our house and I didn’t get taught by her either. Life can be very cruel. A few years later while in the Navy I was talking to the best looking chief on 766 squadron who asked me if I knew Jean Candy who he’d had a fling with. It’s a small as well as cruel world.

Thoughts of Jean Candy crossed my mind as I approached another raven haired beauty and teacher for this series. Ash Martin joined the club in the middle of last year. During our first conversation I discovered she taught English and I immediately experienced the same pangs of envy I felt for those kids who sat and had a crush on Miss Candy half a century ago. 

Ash followed her mother onto a squash court after the family moved to Gisborne. She fell in love with the game but didn’t have the drive in her words to ‘kill herself on court five day a week to get really good’ instead claiming to become ‘severely mediocre.’ There is such a focus on winning at sport that it’s easy to forget that there’s huge pleasure to be gained from taking part that has nothing to do with results but just getting onto a court and hitting a ball against a bunch of people who become your friends. That said Ash has a nice line in self-deprecation and she’s a far better player than she claims. Ash joined Herne Bay partly because it’s her nearest club but also she was impressed meeting George soon after he became squash VP. She also took part in the squash for women classes he ran with what must count as one of the most talented quartet of coaches ever assembled: George, Priscilla, Bryce and Brenda. She has also been called to the bar, not having trained to become a barrister rather a higher calling; serving as a bar volunteer.


Back to school

Ash was good at science at school so when she went to Otago she initially read health sciences. Halfway through her first year she realised this wasn’t a good enough reason to go down this route so she switched to communications, majoring in public relations. Then she joined a small PR company in Auckland and worked with a variety of clients organising events and writing press releases. While she liked the company and colleagues she didn’t find the work fulfilling and this made her increasingly unhappy. She decided to go travelling and ended up in Canada where she worked a ski season and, best of all, a kid’s summer camp in the middle of nowhere where for nine weeks there were just the kids and schoolteachers on vacation. She loved it. She later found herself in Perth, discussing her future with an HR professional who, looking at the contents of her CV, mused her skill-set wasn’t suited for anything apart from teaching and the penny finally dropped. She applied for a teaching post grad course at Massey University the same evening. Finally she’d found her vocation. But taking this seven-year scenic route to her dream job has its advantages: the best teachers I’ve known have done other things away from a classroom while most of the worst ones have rarely ventured outside an education establishment of one sort or another.

Ash has now been teaching for four years. She moved up from Gisborne last year and now teaches 15 to 18 year olds at Albany Senior High School. We spent quite a long time discussing the way her subject is now taught and it has clearly moved a long way from the English lessons of my youth. Actually I can’t remember much of what I was taught as I spent most of my time day dreaming and staring out the window and only tuned in when my dad’s colleague went off subject and shared stories about growing up in a mining community near Newcastle or his enjoyable rants against long hair, or the durability of proper singers like Tom Jones or Harry Secombe who he was convinced would outlast the dreadful Mick Jagger. I didn’t agree but to my mind it was far more entertaining than the stuff he was supposed to be teaching.

It would seem that Ash’s students have a lot less time for day dreaming than I did. For starters there’s hardly any ‘chalk and talk’ as she restricts herself to short sharp bursts in front of the class and most of the 100 minute lessons are spent in helping individuals and in group activities. The lessons she takes aren’t about imposing what she considers good writing rather helping her students acquire a skill set so that they can deconstruct and understand creative writing in its various formats. For instance they have recently been studying visual texts where each student is free to use a film, TV programme or even a pop video that has captured their imagination. Students may find their views challenged by their peers as well as their teacher. But as Ash explained it’s far better to engage students with something they feel passionate about than something that doesn’t. In other words if you are studying something that engages you you are more receptive to learning techniques, sub texts and tricks of the trade that goes into the mix when creating a piece of art.

It turns out that Ash’s dad also taught English and PE for a while. He moved to Australia where his qualifications weren’t recognised so he became a flight attendant for Qantas where he remained for the rest of his working life. She told me a story about her family that tells you everything you need to know about them. When she was 14 Ash wanted to come up to Auckland to see Green Day in concert. The plan was that she would go with her best friend and they would be driven there by an 18 year-old guy, who was the boyfriend of her friend’s elder sister. Ash’s father was adamant that it wasn’t going to happen but she ground him down until he relented and told her she could go if she wrote a thousand words on why she should be allowed. Ash’s mum, who was batting for her, got the wordage reduced to 500. So Ash set about the task citing that her dad shouldn’t worry about things he didn’t have any control about and the killer argument that he ought to have faith in his parenting skills. Needless to say she was allowed to go to the concert but what a wonderful way to get your daughter to behave in a responsible manner.

What would Killer Cross have made of Ash Martin and her teaching methods? I’m sure he would have approved, for a start he could spot a good teacher at 50 paces and more importantly would recognise their objectives were identical to his. As he saw it, his job was to help pupils think for themselves and discover the most effective way to express it to others. Her dream job would have been his and I’m sure he would have willingly traded in the formality and restrictions of his role for hers.

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