The Club has always been quick to support charity events, and this page will chronicle as many as can be recollected. Dave Coutts started the idea and the ball rolling by asking if the 2015 Racketathon could be included, which of course it can. This brought to mind Lisa McKenna’s 2010 Prostate cancer event, when celebrity matches were played, and a band and disco raved.
Julie Learmonth extracted money from us on several occasions, as she ran her half marathons for a variety of charities. She also abseiled from the Forth Bridge. Simon reportedly did ‘the longest rally’, we supported the Haiti earthquake appeal, and a selection of collection boxes are always to be seen on the bar top. The latest event (Covid having scuppered several others) was Julie’s organisation of the ‘Big Hearts’ Christmas gift appeal, when many members contributed gifts, as can be seen in the photo above..
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- Julie Learmonth and her Charity campaigns
- Dave Coutts – the 2015 Racketathon
- Lisa McKenna – her 2010 Prostate Cancer event in memory of her dad
- Tom Cain tribute – 1997
Julie’s Marathons and the Forth Bridge Abseil
Julie had a few mad, mad splendid years between 2012 and 2016 undertaking huge amounts of training to complete marathons (actually half-marathons), but the Club website is happy to describe them thus, and doesn’t differentiate…
She participated for no fewer than six different Charities, running with a couple of other Club members, but also three events on her own. Brave girl. The Club sponsorship value raised for Julie’s nominated Charities is shown in RED
- 2012 May – 10K (quarter marathon) with Susan Buchanan for Alzheimer’s Scotland – £450
- 2012 October – Forth Bridge Abseil – Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland run this event, usually every year. Julie took up the challenge in 2012, and says it was in some ways the best of all her charity challenges – no training required! – but there was however a terrifying 165 foot drop – £200 – that’s only just over a quid a foot. (Click here if you want to see what the drop looks like – that isn’t actually Julie, but you get the idea…)
- May 2013 with Susan Buchanan for Marie Curie Hospice – £1500
- May 2014 for Alzheimer’s Scotland (In memory of Ivor Davie). Ivor was a member of the the ‘Sunday School‘ group who met (and hopefully will meet again) at 6pm every Sunday to partake of communion wine, and imaginary evensong. – £2000
- 2015 September for St Columba’s Hospice – £400
- 2016 June Race for Life with Olivia Palma (Fairweather) for Cancer Research – £300
- We make the total £4,850 for six different charities. We think Julie definitely needs a serious round of applause – click here if you agree
Dave Coutts – the 2015 Racketathon
Dave said: “This is an event perhaps worth a mention in the history books due to the great club spirit and goodwill”. (Editors love Good Causes and Volunteers Dave) In 2015, after East Squash stalwart Alan Stokes had a stroke, I organised a 24hr Racketathon at the club, to raise funds for the Stroke Association. The idea was that at least one of the club’s racket sports would be played at all times by us over a 24 hour period. Members embraced this and the following (football team-sized squad) did the full 24hrs:
Dave Coutts, Simon (midnight-muncher) Boughton, JJ Tait
Glyn (fab dressing gown) Cave, Ross (knackered) McHoul, Fraser MacDonald
Scott Beard, Donald Brown, Khaled (Onian) Mohamed
Johnnie (Bloody Marys, PJ’s and plasters) Webster, Ken Steele
Other members, including several juniors, came and assisted throughout the 24hrs, as well as members from Alan’s home club (The Grange) to ensure there was always a racket sport played at all times. The figure in the white shirt from Grange is Christy Looby. Simon reportedly conducted a mini-league team match with Ross between sleeps during the night. The event ended happily with a balcony full cheering us on with a great atmosphere in a game of ‘Lives’* before the Summer BBQ. We raised over £4000 and were nominated for Stroke Association Fundraisers of the Year.
* Editor’s note – ‘Lives’ is a sadistic gladiatorial spectator sport where shirtless contestants try to avoid being hit by squash balls (which replace lions in the original). The winner is the one with fewest red hit marks. We’ll be surprised if it hasn’t been outlawed by the Scottish Government.
Click anywhere on the slide matrix below to enable full size images
Lisa’s 2010 Prostate cancer event
Lisa tells us that the reason for the Charity event in 2010 was the death of her Dad from Prostate cancer at the age of only 66. Her Dad had not shown much promise at the game in which his daughter became an internationalist. He and his chum were members of George Kerr’s Edinburgh club, and her Dad said that the criteria for winning their games was the ability to hit the tin hardest.
The poster for the event shows (it has been photo-shopped) three of the Stars of the evening, Alan Clyne being replaced by Adrian Grant. Adrian was the holder of the ESC Men’s Open, and World No 10 at the time, also World No 1 for pizza eating as can be seen in the photo gallery. Adrian had to take on World No 4 James Willstrop, who briefly became World No 1 a couple of years later. Our Simon (not World-ranked at the time) had to take on Vanessa Atkinson, World No 10 at the time and holder of the ESC Ladies Open who also went on to be World No 1 in 2005 – so no problem there Simon? A pretty stellar cast list you would say, but sadly there is no record of the results of the two games. Lisa advises that these star players also conducted clinics for our Junior players.
The fun and games continued upstairs, where a high class band (evidently from the photo with high class equipment and lights) and a disco entertained the troops. The superb sum of £3000 was raised for Prostate Cancer UK.
Someone suggested that James Willstrop was a musician, and joined the band at some point, but Lisa advises that they were friends of her, and this was not the case.
The slides below show some of the action, some spectators, some entertainment and the event poster. Click on any of the images to start a full-screen slideshow
Tom Cain tribute
Tom’s sudden death in 1997 prompted the playing of a Squash Marathon at Colinton Castle later that year.