June 2008

Print copy: 


Yellow Dot


Newsletter of the Dickson Squash Club June 2008


Welcome to an overdue, bumper, edition of Yellow Dot.


Competition news

The Autumn 2008 squash competition has been a successful one for Dickson, with teams in the finals in almost all Divisions.

The following teams are playing in the finals:

Division 1: Dickson

Division 2: Dickson 1

Division 3: Dickson 1 and 2

Division 4: Dickson 2 and 3

Division 5: Dickson

Division 6: Dickson 1 and 2

Division 7: Dickson 1 and 2

Division 8: Dickson 2

Division 9: Dickson 2

Division 10: Dickson 1

Division 11: Dickson 1 and 2

Division 13: Dickson 1

Division 14: Dickson 1 and 2

Division 15: Dickson 1 and 2

Division 16: Dickson 1, 2 and 3

Division 17: Dickson 1 and 3

We wish all of these teams well. Well done in particular to Division 16 – all three Dickson teams in the final! Good luck with the challenge of dislodging the top team – Woden – and taking the premiership.


Club Championships

The Dickson Squash Club Championships will be held over the last week in July. They are an enjoyable sporting and social event and an ideal way to tune up for the Spring competition. More details and entry forms will be available soon. Mark the date in your diary.


Club practice

Organised club practice is held every Sunday between 2 and 6 pm in non-daylight savings hours. You are allocated a court and an opponent, which change every 20 minutes.

Saturday is also a club practice day for all interested players, club members or not. Held between 2.00 and 5.00 pm, this is run on a first-come, first-served basis.

The cost on each day is $5.00.

Practice gets congested, particularly on Sundays. To avoid the worst congestion, the recommended strategy is to arrive early (2.00 pm) or late (after 4.30 pm)!


Centre-based competition

The centre-based competition trial is for both competitions this year. We have been told that the Squash ACT Board plans to undertake a review towards the middle of the second competition, in the course of which, we understand that players will be consulted.

The Dickson Squash Club Committee will need to develop a view on this matter in time to let Squash ACT know what we think when the issue comes up for review.

Depending on what Squash ACT does, we may run a poll of members in the second half of the year. However, if you have strong views (and many, on both sides of the debate do) let any of the Committee know what they are.


Squash at Erindale

In March, the Dickson Squash Club committee raised with Squash ACT some concerns expressed by our members about the courts at Erindale.

In essence, the concerns boiled down to:

  • the condition of the courts; and
  • the lack of facilities for supper after squash.

We have since been advised that the Erindale courts can be wet-mopped before the competition each night. However, players may need to ask staff at the counter for this to be done and will need to be prepared to delay the start of the match for a few minutes to allow the courts to dry.

We strongly advise all players to do so – it makes a big difference.

We have also been told that Squash ACT is keen to try and get a satisfactory resolution to the issue of supper and drinks – particularly now with a centre-based competition. The new Squash ACT Board will take this up with Valleys Squash Club committee to work through possible options.

These are promising developments.


Supper at National

Early this year, the Dickson Squash Club committee was advised by Squash ACT that there was agreement that squash players could take some food into the bar at National Centre as long as they purchased additional food. More recently, players have done so, but have nevertheless been asked to put their food away or leave (on one occasion, when the food area was shut!).

We understand that the Squash ACT Competition Committee will be clarifying this matter.


Martin Grace

Following Martin Grace’s sudden passing in December 2007, the Club took a number of immediate steps to support his family. These were recognised in a letter from Liz, the text below:

17 January 2008

Dear DSC

What can I say! We were blown away by the outpouring of sadness and sympathy for the loss of Martin. His funeral was amazing and the generosity, caring and thoughtfulness of the club members brought ease and comfort.

Thank you is inadequate but I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Warmest regards to all,


The original of this letter, and an accompanying card, is on display in the Club Room.

The Committee hopes to be in a position to announce shortly what further steps we propose to take to commemorate Martin’s contribution to ACT and Dickson squash.

For those unfamiliar with Martin’s achievements, please refer to the “Squash ACT Awards Ceremony” section and Obituary later in this Yellow Dot edition.


Marcus Smith

Many of you will know that Marcus Smith left Canberra for Melbourne earlier this year… but how many know that he and Jo have since got married? We wish them all the best in the future J

And that he is now a member of the Squash Australia Board? He can’t keep himself away!


Safety on court

There have been a couple of instances recently where collisions on court in competition games have caused concern, including one that went to the Squash ACT Disciplinary Committee.

Accidental collisions are inevitable, but squash is a non-contact sport and should be played with common sense and courtesy. If you run into your opponent accidentally, you should apologise and show appropriate concern for their welfare. (And, of course, referees should penalise any careless or dangerous contact, the latter severely.)


Something Potty

Congratulations to Helen and Doug Potter, long term members of the Club, who welcomed another baby to their family in December: Jamie Adam at 6lb 8oz.


What to do: “Let, please”

Below is a simplified thought process a referee should go through when asked for a let.

1. Did interference occur?

The striker has four basic rights and interference has occurred if the opponent fails to provide any of these, even if the player has made every effort to do so:

  • Unobstructed direct access to the ball after completion of a reasonable follow-through.
  • A fair view of the ball on its rebound from the front wall.
  • Freedom to hit the ball with a reasonable swing.
  • Freedom to play the ball directly to the front wall.

If no interference has occurred, or the interference was so minimal that the player's view of and freedom to get to and play the ball were not affected, then it’s no let, otherwise move on to no. 2.

2. Could the obstructed player have reached the ball and made a good return? And was the player making every effort to do so?

If either answer is no, then it’s no let, otherwise move on to no. 3.

3. Did the obstructed player move past the point of interference and play on? Or create the interference in moving to the ball?

If the answer to either question is yes, then it’s no let, otherwise move on to no. 4.

4. Did the obstructing player make every effort avoid the interference?

If the player didn’t, then it’s a stroke, otherwise move on to no.5.

5. Did the interference prevent the obstructed player’s reasonable swing?

If yes, then it’s a stroke to the player, otherwise move on to no. 6.

6. Could the obstructed player play a winning return?

If yes, then it’s a stroke, otherwise it’s a let unless no.7 applies.

7. Would the obstructed player have struck the opponent with the ball going directly to the front wall or, if going to a side wall, would it have been a winning return?

If either answer is yes, then it’s a stroke to the player.

Remember that this is a simplification – whilst it will deliver the correct result most of the time, you do need to read the rules thoroughly.

See http://www.worldsquash.org.uk/rules.html for both full and simplified versions of the rules.


2007 Spring Pennant

It’s old news now, but we should also reflect on the achievements of our teams that played in the 2007 Spring Pennant Grand Finals:



Jhie Gough, Jason Chen, Paul Cartwright, Dominic Cooper, Peter Trevitt



Peter Trevitt, Faiq Saddique, Marcus Smith, Charles Flannery



John Prideaux, Geoff Gleeson, Mike Hogan



Stephen Barnett, Jon Freeman, Len Early



Mark Ciesniewski, Christopher Mettam, Jackie Oliver



David Milne, Jamie Carl, Helen Fantich



Michael Douglas, Shane Senini, Wayne Alford



David Milne, Mahendra Kumar, James Rainey



Josh Peck, Karina Sommers, Sue Wigham



Arn Bui, Phil Greaves, Iain Hamilton



Joseph Howard, Michael Howard, Bill Quinn



James Norman, Keith Wylie, Simon Jackson



Claudia Krebs, Stuart Campbell, Samuel Lock

Many other teams contested the finals, making it yet another great season for the Club.


Squash ACT Awards Ceremony

In December 2007, Squash ACT invited representatives from each of the clubs to a presentation ceremony at Sports House.

The purpose of the ceremony was to recognise outstanding contributions to squash. Awards were given in three categories:

  • Squash ACT Service Award
  • The John Langmore Trophy
  • Life Membership of Squash ACT

The festivities of the evening were tempered by the then-recent loss of Martin Grace, who was of our sport’s finest servants.

However, it was extremely pleasing that Dickson members were represented in all award categories.

They were:


Ted Kaminski

Ted received a Service Award for his contribution to the Dickson Squash Club over many years, including 10 years as Club President and many years as a high level player and qualified referee.


Matthew Driver

Matthew received a Service Award for his efforts in developing and promoting the Squash Matrix, and we all know how successful that’s been in revolutionising the administration of pennant competitions.

Matthew’s efforts were further rewarded with the presentation of the John Langmore Trophy. In this case, the award also included recognition of his role on the Competition Committee. This is an award that hadn’t been presented for some time, and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Squash in the ACT over a long period.


Marcus Smith

Marcus was also awarded the John Langmore Trophy. In his case, it was for his extended period of service as President of Squash ACT, which included overseeing a very difficult transition in saving the Woden Squash Courts.


Martin Grace

The most touching part of the Award evening was reserved for Martin Grace, who was awarded Life Membership of Squash ACT. Some weeks prior to the ceremony, Martin knew that the award was going to be presented. He was deeply honoured. It was a moving moment when Liz accepted it on his behalf.

Martin’s broader life achievements are highlighted in the Obituary, but the following paragraphs contain more detail specific to squash…

Prior to moving to Australia in 1960, Martin had played a few games of squash in England, but nothing too serious. Upon arriving in Canberra, he realised that squash was a very popular game here in Australia and immediately took to it with some relish. He joined the Civic Social Squash Club, which was based at the Squash Bowl in

Rudd Street
, Civic, and became President in 1963. He remained President for a few years until the courts were closed and the club then moved its location to the centre at Dickson.

Not long after moving to Dickson Martin was elected to the Committee in 1966, and had been continuously elected to the Committee since then. In the late 1970s he became President of the Club, where he worked hard to establish a positive and fruitful relationship with the Canberra Tradesmen’s Union Club, which remains today. Sunday afternoon club practice was introduced and is now a key fixture of the club’s activities.

In 1984, Martin and Liz and another couple also took ownership of the bar at the centre, ensuring that the facility was available to player and non-player alike for the social part of the squash evening. They ran this for three years, guaranteeing that the bar remained an important plank in the club’s social activities.

Martin was then elected President of Squash ACT in 1989. During his two years there his skills as a leader and manager were clear, and he worked hard to introduce a number of important initiatives.

Martin was also a qualified referee for many years. For the past 10 years he has also been the Squash Referee’s Association Coordinator, cajoling players to learn the rules, mentoring young referees and also acted as Tournament Referee for the ACT Junior and Senior Open, among other tournaments. He also travelled away with other referees to officiate at events, and most recently travelled to Brisbane in September to officiate at the Australian Junior Championships.

In 2006, Martin experienced a life highlight while participating in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games as a Squash Marshall. In this role, he met the world’s top players and officials, and attended the volunteers’ parade, an event he found inspiring.

During all of this time, he was also a player for the Dickson Squash Club, and only missed 3 pennant competitions since 1966, and only then because he was visiting England. His return of only 4 pennants in that time is testament to his dedication and love of the sport – many others would have given up long before with that level of achievement!

Last year he won the Over 70 year age group at the Australian Squash Masters Championships held in Canberra, conceding only 12 points on the path to victory.

He received numerous awards during his time – the President’s Trophy at the Dickson Squash Club for contribution to the Dickson Clubs as well as the John Langmore Trophy for Services to Squash in the ACT.

In October last year he was awarded the ACT Sportstar Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of his contribution to the sport.


Of course, Dickson players weren’t the only ones recognised by Squash ACT…

The following people were also presented with Squash ACT Service Awards:

  • Anne Beasley


  • Kevin McNamara


  • Phil Gallagher


  • Debbie Simms


  • John Forrest



And Barbara Slotemaker De Bruine, joined Heather Mackay and Martin Grace as Squash ACT’s only Life Members.


Dickson Squash Club Committee

Members should feel free to contact any of the Dickson Squash Club Committee on any squash matter:

President: Len Early

Secretary: Anthony Burgess

Treasurer: Dick O'Rourke

General Members:

Sam Bowman Paul Cartwright

Matt Downey Claudia Krebs

Doug Lean Karina Sommers

Contact details are on the Matrix.


Yellow Dot

Got good ideas for the next Yellow Dot? Email them to anthony.burgess@netspeed.com.au



Martin GraceObituary: Martin Grace

1935 – 2007


A passionate member of the Dickson and ACT squash community passed in December 2007: Martin Grace was 72. Within the squash community, Martin was less well known for his greatest passion: as a tireless fighter for the environment and Canberra’s regional woodlands.

A leader of the feisty band of tree lovers known as the Watson Woodlanders, Martin not only helped save 18ha of yellow box/red gum grassy woodland at North Watson from the developer’s bulldozers, but led the subsequent efforts to manage and restore the area.

Prominent in conscripting the support of professional ecologists, concerned residents and media mates from 1992 on, Martin helped ensure that the Watson woodlands were never far from the public eye in a fight that took nearly 13 years to win.

With a quasi-scientific background as a qualified instrument maker, Martin’s quick grasp of the scientific arguments that supported his cause and the botanical names of the plants he fought to preserve impressed all and sundry, particularly the professional ecologists he enlisted to the woodlands cause.

Through persistence and commitment, and against the planner’s calls for infill and urban consolidation, Martin and the Woodlanders enjoyed a victory of sorts in 2001 when five hectares of the woodland was formally quarantined from housing development and again in 2005 when the whole 18ha was named the Justice Robert Hope Park and added to the Canberra Nature Park.

With the battle won, Martin set about cleaning up the woodlands by organising hundreds of hours of working bees and putting in many more alone, so that by the time he died from a heart attack on 5 December, most of the woody weeds had been exterminated, the Serrated Tussock chipped out, much of the Patterson’s Curse sprayed or mowed, the dam repaired, boundary fencing properly aligned and over 400 trees, shrubs and several thousand native grasses and wildflowers been planted. Even a brochure had been produced.

But Martin’s commitment to the bush wasn’t restricted to Watson – he was also a founding member, committeeman, and past president of the Land Rover Club of the ACT, cheerfully organising excursions into the scrub on “unwrecking” missions which involved removing car wrecks, pine wildings and other blemishes on the bush in close cooperation with local park managers.

And he was an accomplished sportsman.

Since the early 1960s, Martin was prominent among Canberra’s squash community as a referee and organiser, and early member of the Dickson Squash Club. He served on the ACT Squash Rackets Association for many years during the sport’s heyday, including as President in 1989 and 1990.

As a player, Martin only missed four competitions in 40 years and in 2006 won his age group at the Australian Squash Masters Championships.

Until his death, he was playing a minimum of three times a week, and continued to foster the development of new players to the sport.

He was honoured many times for his contribution to the things he loved – The Australian Sports Medal in 2000, the Dickson Squash Club President’s Trophy; the John Langmore Trophy for Services to Squash; the 2006 Sport Employment Australia Contribution to Sport Award, and Life Membership of Squash ACT in 2007.

Martin came to Australia from England on his honeymoon in 1960 and worked in Adelaide and Melbourne before joining Mt Stromlo as a draughtsman in 1964. He later set up a business maintaining dental equipment and in 1982 with wife Liz, began a screen printing business which the pair ran until retiring in 2004.

Martin’s woodland work is not finished but the committed band of Woodlanders he’s left behind have promised it will go on.

Martin is survived by his wife of 47 years, Liz, his children Alina and Rohan and two grandchildren.