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squash questions and black holes
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Kamloops Squash

elephant

Some Squash FAQ
 
This section is largely in response to the question
"Hey
, what's going on with squash(racquetball/wallyball) in Kamloops?1
 
(An effort has been made to keep answers factual; any opinions expressed are the author's and not necessarily the KSA's)

How many squash courts are there in Kamloops?
One, located at the old gym on the TRU campus. It is an american-sized court, with an 18.5’ width, often found at older university facilities . The difference in court width and out-of-bounds lines takes a bit to get used to, however the court plays well.

What does it cost to play there?
TRU students with a current student card play for free. For everyone else, the cost is $5 per person or $30 per calendar month. Payments go to the staff at the front desk at the TRU gym, or in the white box outside the court.2 Check the online booking schedule (click here) for hours. Book online or phone the TRU gym at 250-828-5270.

Why is there only one squash court in Kamloops?
All courts to date have been run by private enterprise, on commercial land. As the value of the land increases, so does the temptation to convert the use of the land. Recreation facilities can make a profit, however there is usually a more profitable way to use the space. There are successful squash and other recreation facilites elsewhere on private land; quite often these facilities are operated on municipal land.

What happened to the other racquet courts in Kamloops?
- The facility on McGill was sold and converted to office space in the summer of 2008.
- The Courtyard on the north shore has been closed for a couple of years, and was for sale for almost a year. The building needs some renovations.
- There were other courts in town previously; these have been converted to other use as well.3

What is the situation at the Courtyard?
The Courtyard (also known as Malone’s) on the north shore is an old building that currently has four racquetball courts. Until recently it operated as a licensed bar; it has been closed for over two years.
The new owners chose not to renew the lease with the previous owners and put the building up for sale after an unsuccessful negotiation with a potential leaseholder.
When the Racquetor on McGill closed we were able to convert two of the four courts at the Courtyard to squash; the other two courts were used by racquetball and wallyball players. 100-120 people played squash there each month during that winter before they closed, plus about 30 racquetball players monthly and an estimated 50-60 wallyball players (and yes - even some handball players!). The building was (and is) somewhat run-down and did not appeal to everyone’s taste, however the courts played well. The court area covers about 4,500 square feet; the building is about 17,000 square feet. The showers and changerooms were removed just before the building closed to the public two years ago, requiring some renovation to simply put the building back to its previous condition. The roof apparently also needs to be replaced (estimate = $100,000). The building is not currently on the market; previously it was listed at $999,000.

What about racquetball or wallyball?
There are no courts available for these sports locally. There is one racquetball court at TRU, which has gym equipment stored inside it; the court is used periodically
as a teaching lab by the athletic department.

Does the City of Kamloops have any plans for a facility for these sports?
The Recreation and Parks staff are aware of the lack of facilities for squash
, racquetball and wallyball. There has been a lot of dialogue between the KSA and the City. Due to the worldwide economic meltdown in the fall of 2008, following the closure of the Racquetor4, the City's position is that there is no money available to build a facility, although if we come up with funding they may supply the land.

Does the Kamloops Squash Association have a business plan for running a court facility?
Yes. We have a good business plan based on other successful squash and racquet facilities in other towns, and we are open to discussing a venture with any interested parties. For details contact us by email (click here) or phone 250-314-9600.

How many members would it take to be financially viable?
According to the business plan, including revenue from drop-ins, at $450 annual membership you would need about 200 annual members to show a profit.

How many courts are in the KSA business plan?
The plan is based on four courts, with at least one or two courts that would be convertible to racquetball and wallyball. Five squash courts are required to host a provincial squash tournament, which is a strong consideration in the Tournament Capital of Canada.

Where can I find other squash or racquetball courts?
Closest towns: Salmon Arm has two convertible squash/racquetball courts; Vernon has both squash and racquetball courts. Farther afield:
East: Revelstoke, Golden, Nakusp, Cranbrook, Sparwood, Nelson,...
South: Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland,
North: Williams Lake, Prince George,...
West: Lilloeet, Hope, Chilliwack,...
There are many other courts in BC. If you are travelling and would like more information, many of BC's courts are listed on Squash BC's website (here) or you can email us for info at info@kamloopssquash.ca.

Footnotes
1- a frequently occuring question...
2 - the money goes to the Athletic Dept, not the KSA. Although the KSA set up the online booking system, promotes the court, runs an online ladder for the court
, and has offered free coaching, the KSA has no control over the court or the proceeds. The court operates often in the manner of an unmanned roadside stand selling fresh eggs and dried flowers; operators of these roadside stands need to maintain a healthy and distanced perspective - although almost everyone pays there will be some who do not...
3 - the squash courts at the old "Crossroads" complex are used as storage by the liquor store, and the tennis courts there are now used for parking.
 4 - coincidence? hmmm... well, something triggered widespread financial collapse and panic just shortly after that summer... 

 

Malone's, and The Elephant and the Event Horizon
 
   elephant approaches a black hole... 
(the article below was linked in a previous newsletter)
Malone's seems like an old elephant who wandered off to die and yet can still be seen roaming around on the horizon... This article provides (for me at least) an allegorical description of the situation facing squash players in Kamloops the last few years... the original article below is from this website.

"Saw a pretty stunning piece on Nova recently (Monster of the Milky Way) on the absolute weirdness of black holes (they’re more surreal than you thought). Today found a New Scientist article on what happens to objects sitting at the rim of the event horizon. For 30 years, Stephen Hawking has maintained that all information was destroyed at the event horizon, even though this ran counter to one of the fundamental principles of physics. But now, after studying the work of a young theorist named Juan Maldacena, who essentially posits our universe as the holographic projection of a 5-dimensional counterpart. New Scientist:

             Let’s say Alice is watching a black hole from a safe distance, and she sees an elephant foolishly headed straight into gravity’s grip. As she continues to watch, she will see it get closer and closer to the event horizon, slowing down because of the time-stretching effects of gravity in general relativity. However, she will never see it cross the horizon. Instead she sees it stop just short, where sadly Dumbo is thermalised by Hawking radiation and reduced to a pile of ashes streaming back out. From Alice’s point of view, the elephant’s information is contained in those ashes. There is a twist to the story. Little did Alice realise that her friend Bob was riding on the elephant’s back as it plunged toward the black hole. When Bob crosses the event horizon, though, he doesn’t even notice, thanks to relativity. The horizon is not a brick wall in space. It is simply the point beyond which an observer outside the black hole can’t see light escaping. To Bob, who is in free fall, it looks like any other place in the universe; even the pull of gravity won’t be noticeable for perhaps millions of years. Eventually as he nears the singularity, where the curvature of space-time runs amok, gravity will overpower Bob, and he and his elephant will be torn apart. Until then, he too sees information conserved.


Essentially, we end up with a large-scale paradox similar to the light-as-wave/particle paradox: In order to satisfy the laws of physics, objects have to simultaneously be intact inside the black hole and torn to shreds just outside of it. This bakes my noodle."

Squash links
Book a court:
http://www.book.kamloopssquash.ca/
TRUSU Squash Club email: trusquash@gmail.com
Kamloops Squash Association: http://www.kamloopssquash.ca/
TRU Squash Ladder: http://www.squash-ladder.net/tru/
 

thanks!



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