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arrow pointing leftBack 12 April 24 - by England Squash

Young coach recognised for helping save Derbyshire squash club

Finlay Stott has been named Young Coach of the Year at the 2023 England Squash Awards for his volunteer coaching work at Duffield Squash Club, which he balances alongside a full-time apprenticeship at Rolls Royce.

The 19-year-old runs Duffield’s entire junior programme, and his work has seen their junior Club Championships’ participation grow massively, with finals now taking place at every age group.

Alongside his coaching work, Finlay was heavily involved in saving the club’s facilities when Storm Babet hit last October.

Finlay recently became the youngest ever winner of Duffield’s volunteer of the year award, before being announced as England Squash’s winner. He said:

“It’s quite prestigious at the club, so to win that was great. To then go on and win the England Squash one was really nice. To get that recognition is amazing, and hopefully long may it continue.”

Alongside his involvement at a coaching level, Finlay helps out around the club, from getting behind the bar to introducing new members to the club along with bringing fresh ideas to the club’s committee meetings.

Late last year, Finlay went above and beyond his usual duties when the club experienced a devastating flood during Storm Babet. Over 200mm of water was present throughout the club’s ground floor ruining all the squash courts and changing rooms.

Finlay stepped up and managed to acquire an industrial pump, which he then used to remove the remaining water. He explained: “I managed to source a pump from a local company, we had nearly 3000 tonnes because once the river levels dropped, the water stayed within the old tennis courts. We basically just had a lake at the club.

“I manned that for 24 hours because it kept getting stuck with tennis balls, racket covers, everything that was afloat basically, so it kept tripping out. I think I was down there until half 11 at night and then back up at about six in the morning.”

While the club was out of action Finlay further helped out, working with other clubs to ensure Duffield’s members could keep playing while it recovered. He said: “I managed to get some deals with local clubs for members to play at reduced rate, some even offered it for free. We managed to keep the junior programme running by moving over to the university.

“We've still a long way to go, but hopefully we can get there. It was not ideal but we're looking at the positive side and hopefully we can come out the other side better than we were.”

Finlay has just started his level three coaching course and is to work with the county to create a similar junior framework county-wide. This summer, he will be taking on a county development officer role and hopes to help put in place a junior inter-county tournament for Derbyshire by 2027.

Find out more about the 2023 Awards.