Bates College squash is perennially one of the strongest small-college programs in America. It is home to five All-Americans and a pair of individual national championships.
Aaron Morse covers 31 varsity sports for the Bates Communications Office as the assistant sports information director. He is not an athlete and he has never played squash. But one day, he decided he wanted to learn how to play.
Squash student-athletes deal with a variety of challenges every day. This was a new one.
Luckily Vicky Arjoon ’19 of Georgetown, Guyana, and Graham Bonnell ’20 of Southport, Conn., are always happy to teach the sport, even to complete novices.
All the Bates squash players teach the kids at Portland Community Squash, in Maine’s largest city.
“When you’re coaching the youth, when you’re coaching the kids down at Portland Community Squash, they’re young, they can run all over,” Bonnell said. “They can do the splits. They’re limber. They’re very flexible.”
Morse is not exactly young and he is definitely not flexible or limber. Does he do the splits? Never.
Nonetheless, Bonnell and Arjoon are ready to help. For them, teaching squash is not only fun, it also has a deeper meaning.
“Honestly, [teaching the sport gives me] a satisfaction that the game is going somewhere,” Arjoon said, “just sort of moving it on from generation to generation. I have a younger sister, I have several other kids who are years younger than me at home, and to pass on my love of the sport to them, I think, is the most satisfying part of it all.”
Something Bonnell loves about squash, he says, is that it’s a sport that has the potential to open doors for “people of all socioeconomic levels and statuses. So if you learn to play squash at a young age, that’s a great route for you to go on to a school such as Bates.”
For more information on Portland Community Squash, go to http://www.pcsquash.com/.