Bradley Hindle of Daisy Hill Squash and Racquet Club

Interview

Daisy Hill Squash and Racquet Club
18 Allamanda Drive, Daisy Hill
daisyhillracquetclub.com.au

Building community is key for Brad Hindle, owner of the Daisy Hill Squash and Racquet Club. The former player and coach with the Maltese National Team – who rounded out his playing career on home soil at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 – knows what forms the essence of a good Squash Club having been around the sport all his life.

“Hey Clay, how are you buddy?” Brad nods at a young player as the after school crowd starts to arrive.

“Do you want me to do a sidewall progression?” another student stops by on his way to the court to ask for instructions to get his afternoon training started.

“Hi Paulette! You want a court?” a lady in her early fifties stops to say hello. “Oh my God! Look at your fingernails! They’ve grown since last week!” Brad admires Paulette’s latest manicure.

Paulette is a regular player and also a local beekeeper. Brad sells jars of her honey over the counter at the club’s Café Tal Koala.

“Squash is a great game, a social game, it literally is for everyone…you can play to be competitive, you can play for fun, you can play for fitness, you can play for coordination. I have a lady who is about 88 years old who comes in on a wheeler. I give her the big foam ball and she just wants to hit one ball. We know her, she used to play squash, her daughter plays squash. You will hear her coaching herself, ‘Get your footwork right…’. I won’t charge her so she buys a lemonade from the café to feel better about using the court. Then we’ll sit and chat.”

Brad was five years old when he picked up his first wooden racquet in his then hometown of Mackay. He joined his mum, a recreational player who still comes into the club to play today at age 71.

The family moved to Rochedale when he was a teenager, and he played competitively through his high school years. At the time Australians were dominating the sport of squash, with lots of world champions. Brad hoped to follow their trajectory.

“I knew in the back of my mind I had a European heritage I could take advantage of as well. I grew up in a Maltese community in Mackay. Mum’s family had come from Malta. She was one of seven,” Brad pauses with a laugh, “I’ve lost count of how many first cousins I have.”

“Around the age of 20 I flew to Belgium and joined a Belgium league and a German league and that started my European squash career.”

He went on to play in teams in the Dutch, Swedish and French leagues, offering him the chance to travel Europe while working.

Based in Malta, Brad leant on his inherited citizenship to become a player representative for the national team in the number one position, as well as taking on national coaching duties, working alongside team management to design and deliver Malta national team training sessions and programs.

Brad spent seventeen years travelling the world playing Squash. As well as representing Malta he took his experience and expertise into his coaching and squash club development programs to clubs, associations and federations in Malta, Russia and Israel, as well as consulting to other individuals and clubs around the world.

“I went on to consulting for clubs. I knew how a club should operate to be a healthy club, what key ingredients squash clubs need to be viable.”

In his last few years Brad played in the English Premier League for Birmingham University, before he spent three years as a consultant Head Coach and Program Director for a Squash club in St Petersberg.

“I was sitting in St Petersberg in 2017. It was something like minus 25 degrees outside, and the guy who owned this club called me to see if I would be interested in taking it on.

I had played there before. I looked at the location in Daisy Hill on Google. There’s Brisbane to the north, Redlands to the east, Ipswich to the west and Gold Coast to the south. It was located in the golden diamond. I knew it would only grow.

Clubs used to mainly be family run. So many have closed since I was a kid or have been integrated into general gym facilities. I wanted to create a space focused on fun, but also enabling opportunities for our young players to develop, similar to the ones I experienced growing up.”

Three and half years later Brad has over 500 committed members and is seeing over 1000 people – players and non-players – pass through his doors each week. He has added a café and bar area, where he encourages people to stop and chat and take some time together before or after a game.

Bradley Hindle of Daisy Hill Squash and Racquet Club

In 2019 Squash Australia named Daisy Hill Squash and Racquet Club as the 2019 Australian Club of the Year. In the same year Brad was recognised by the Logan City Council as Coach of the Year at the annual Logan Sports Awards.

“You need to be able to apply different techniques when coaching, remembering how different approaches have worked in different cultural contexts. Everyone responds differently to learning.”

Squash is consistently voted by Forbes as the world’s healthiest sport, based on the key measurable of how many calories per hour are burnt.

“Squash is good for you for a lot of reasons,” Brad muses. “Good exercise, it’s healthy. There’s camaraderie, whether as an individual or if you are in a team.”

Brad predicts that throughout his career he has probably coached over 10,000 kids, and throughout his travels seen thousands and thousands of people play squash.

“I’m not a sports scientist, but what I can say from observation: when someone walks onto the court, if they’re in a bad mood, they walk out happy. If someone walks in with too much energy, they walk out balanced. It’s a balancing sport. I see it time and time again.”

Though missing being by the sea on his once island home of Malta, Brad is enjoying the laidback lifestyle back home in Australia.

“I like living in Logan. I knew the area before I came back having grown up in Rochedale. I spend a lot of time locally, taking a walk or a ride, enjoying the low key recreation opportunities in the area.”

The club tucked away in Daisy Hill in the City of Logan, has quickly become one of the premier Squash and Development clubs in Australia. In a region dedicated to sporting excellence the growth of the club in recent years sees the sport offering new opportunities to players and community members alike. With eight squash courts, a bar and lounge, gym and Pro Shop, change rooms and sauna and plenty of parking on site, it’s a great place to come and be a part of the resurgence of squash participation in South East Queensland.

Hours:

Mon to Thurs 10am – 10pm
Fri 10am – 8pm
Sat to Sun 10am – 6pm

Author: Jacqueline Bawtree 2021 for Logan City Council.

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