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Kent’s new Racquet Center inspires “awe”

Armstrong

Armstrong

Lily Armstrong, Campus News Reporter

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In the fall of 2017, Kent School celebrated the opening of its new, long-awaited, racquet center. The squash courts are so stunning that Ms. Anderson, head coach of the girl’s squash team, commented in her speech at the opening ceremony that “a childlike awe swept over [her]” when she first saw them.

Beyond their shiny floors, the new courts are regulated in accordance with the international standard rather than the North American standard like the old courts. The courts are also equipped with new technology: in-court cameras allowing coaches to record their players’ games, digital scoring system synchronizing the players’ scores directly to US Squash, and speakers throughout the building projecting team cheers and announcements.

Father Schell opened the ceremony by echoing Kent School athletics’ mission statement: “The goal of Athletics at Kent is excellence, work ethic, and producing team and self-growth.” The new squash courts are a “tribute to those who have promoted excellence before and who will ensure excellence in the future.”

Following his speech were the concurring statements from generous donors and the grateful words of Mr. Seye, Ms. Anderson, and Mr. Marble. After the boys’ and girls’ team captains Mohamed Abdelhafez ’18 and Johanna Story ’18 played an exhibition match, the courts were open to all who attended with white-soled shoes and goggles.  

While the entire building itself is yet to be named, each court has been named after those who played a large role in making it a reality: the Bourke, Gilbert, Anderson, Pickering, Hoerle, Lawrence, Melly families, and former Kent Squash coaches Rand and Humpheys. According to Coach Rand, “[these courts] are a culmination of dreams that I’ve had since the 80s.” They were built in little under a year with the help of S/L/A/M Collaborative and Geoff Gaunt, Kent School’s chief architect.

Carrying years of effort and dreams, the courts will, Mr. Marble hopes, “Be a boon to not just the Squash program but the athletics program and the school as a whole in the years to come.”

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Kent’s new Racquet Center inspires “awe”