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New McArthur Squash Center at BHSC Promotes the Sport - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

New McArthur Squash Center at BHSC Promotes the Sport

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The Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville has hosted professional men and women's tennis tournaments and pro squash could be next.

The club has a brand new 12-million dollar squash facility that is already regarded as one of the best in the nation.  The new courts are a big boost to squash lovers at UVa and it could bring the world's top squash players to Central Virginia.

Its not a mainstream sport, but squash is ranked as the top fitness sport by Forbes magazine and squash lovers in Central Virginia now have the one of the top facilities to play in. The brand new McArthur Squash Center at the Boar's Head has eight singles courts and is just one of just a handful of clubs in the nation to have two doubles courts.

UVa squash club team member Ned Whelan says, "This is probably thee best facility I've seen, I'm really excited we got these, I'm excited to be here for the next two years and play on these courts."

The facility was built to support and promote the sport of squash.  It has a spectacular center court with stadium seating which makes the club an ideal spot to host professional events.

The Director of Squash at the BHSC, Mark Allen says, "It's a white ball glass court and there aren't too many of those worldwide, the coverage for TV is much better you can see the ball much more clearly... We're already talking with US Squash in bringing some of the biggest championships here to Charlottesville sometime in the future, maybe the National Championships."

Right now, the squash center is home to UVa's men and women's club teams and is also used for UVa's intramural squash.

Whelan says, "There's a lot of thought in squash, people don't realize there's a lot of strategy, you're not just hitting a ball, you're playing against your opponent, and you're playing against everything he does and I love that part of it. "

Squash is one of seven sports now being considered to be included in the 2020 Olympics.

Allen says, "it's a very fast and dynamic game and its also very easy to pick up so it doesn't take long before you're able to play a good rally and get the cardiovascular part of a good workout and there's a huge strategic side to the game as well, so its a very easy game to learn but its also a very difficult game to master, so you can spend your whole life getting better at this game."

On Saturday, The Boar's Head is featuring exhibition matches and clinics which are free and open to the public.  On Sunday, everyone, not just club members, is invited to try out the new courts.

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