Jonny Irving wins Hazel Award

Jonny has been awarded the prize for his dedicated service both to his club and the county, as a player, a coach and an administrator.

This is the 15th year for presentation of this special annual award that was introduced in 2004/2005 season to maintain the memory of Hazel Tait who was President of the organisation and a founder member.

The award was designed on the basis of Hazel`s wide ranging involvement in Cumbria Squash. It recognises outstanding performances across the full scope of Cumbria Squash & Racketball activities.

Tom Armstrong, Chair of Cumbria Squash, said: “Jonny was introduced to the sport at his current club at a very early age and due to effective coaching at the club, developed his playing skills.

As he developed he played at all junior and senior levels in club internal competitions and represented the club in county closed championships and other county wide events in them – where he had a great achievement in being U19 County Champion in that process.

On a county representative basis he played for the county at all of our junior age groups in ES inter county events and has also represented Cumbria Senior team in that championship on more than one occasion.

Without doubt these are great playing achievements. He is still going strong competitively after making a come-back after having effectively overcome a serious knee injury over the last two seasons. There is certainly more to come from Jonny.

But that is not all – as well as his involvement and successes as a player he is the type of person who has given a lot back to his club and our organisation in the form of dedicated and unselfish volunteer service to both, as follows.

  • He achieved a level 2 coaching qualification and supports the junior coaching sessions at his club
  • He joined his club management committee as a teenager and is still working effectively on it. His club chairman recently said he does a great job and he hoped that he remains on the committee for many years to come.

In addition to his club work, he joined the county administration in 2010 and served on Junior and Executive Committees before having to step down in 2018 as a result of pressure of work resulting from a promotion. He did excellent work on both committees in many important areas and activities and has been a great asset to our organisation – my only hope that when things ease off in his new job he will be able to see his way clear to re-join us. We do of course congratulate him on his promotion and wish him well in his new job.

What a record this is – it is so easy for me to report but for Jonny it has been a lifetime of his wide ranging commitment to his club, the county association and squash generally – it is very impressive – all credit to him.

Organisations like Cumbria Squash Rackets Association and Cumbria squash clubs rely on volunteers to see that they flourish and prosper. It is a sad reflection of modern life that few young people step up and agree to volunteer. This young man is an exception to this and I hope that the example he has set encourages other young people to join our administration at a time we need and are seeking more volunteers.”