Norwich – Squash at Wensum Sports Centre


Just under a year ago I accepted an invitation from a friend to play squash at Wensum Sports Centre. As an advocate of trying things once, unless it might involve my passing out, I accepted but was confident it wouldn’t be a very good idea. I’ve heard some people concerned that they’ll close given the developments at Wensum Lodge, but they’re separate operations and this one looks secure for some time to come yet.


There are two squash courts at the centre and this is the waiting area to them. Games cost £5 for 40 minutes and there’s a £12 annual membership fee, which all makes it rather reasonable. It’s located on King Street in Norwich, so it’s centrally located for those wanting a game and there’s a car park available for those who need to drive in.


Court two, which is the one I don’t like quite as much as it’s a little more overlooked on the gallery above. The reason that this post has taken so longer, after a flurry of activity from my two loyal readers demanding a squash update, is because I rarely play on this court and it’s taken me a while to get a photo. However, the courts can get heavily booked in the evening and sometimes there’s not much choice which is why I was on the court last week. I play in the day against one friend and there’s rarely anyone before or after, which makes it rather more relaxed.


For reasons I’ve never worked out, they have different colours in the two courts, this is the blue of court two.


And the red of my favourite court one. There’s rarely anyone looking over this court and I soon give them a passive aggressive stare so that they move on, as I’m not keen on being watched.


It looks oddly grubby from squash ball action in this photo compared to real life. As an aside, I always hate having to knock on the door to get the previous players off the court, so I tend to knock and then hide further down the corridor so they think it was someone else. I can be quite British sometimes…. I’m also sometimes a little alarmed at just how much noise some people make, with shouts, squeals, grunts and odd bangs, so I do wonder what is going on.

Anyway, I’m still not really very good at squash, but merrily try and play when I can drag people over. I’ve got a new squash friend (ooooohhh, new friend) from bar billiards who I think I’ll be able to beat, but I haven’t said that to them yet as I can’t imagine what might happen and I don’t want to be over-confident. I’m left with playing three people regularly, one I always beat, one who is equal in ability and another who smashes me around the court every week. The friend who initially took me I haven’t played in months, but I suspect they’d beat me despite their excellent attempts to train me up in the first place. I’ll find out one day  🙂

All told, I think this is all rather positive for mental and physical health, with the 40 minutes always going quickly. I’m conscious some people injure themselves playing squash, but I’m not moving about fast enough for that and it compresses a fair amount of exercise into a relatively short period which is much more efficient than a day of walking. The staff at the centre are friendly and helpful, especially when I was playing someone and they managed to head butt the wall and bleed which was highly sub-optimal as it wasted my game playing time.

The only downsides are that the courts can get a little warm and I may have mentioned occasionally that I don’t like things being too hot. And the other minor issue is that the whole thing is so popular that it can be hard to get a court in the evening at short notice, but that’s positive as they’re doing so well. They also have badminton courts and a gym at the centre, but I don’t involve myself with those.

It’s a case in point of trying new things, as I would never have thought I’d be interested in squash, but I’ve found it all quite therapeutic. It’s not expensive and they will lend people any equipment that they need for a small charge, the only thing that a player must have are shoes which won’t mark the court. All really rather lovely.

Right, I really must get back to the Liverpool write-up, but I’ve been somewhat distracted with London trips this weekend.