Local squash instructor named England Coach of the Year

Zeb Young, Squash Coach (with Georgia Kennedy)

AN INSPIRATIONAL squash coach from Tunbridge Wells has been given the prestigious title of Coach of the Year after encouraging hundreds of children to take up the sport.

Zeb Young, who coaches at Tunbridge Wells Squash Club, as well as other clubs in Surrey and Kent, was presented the national award by Georgina Kennedy, Commonwealth Gold Medalist at the British Open Squash tournament.

The judges praised Zeb’s outstanding impact and effort to widen junior participation though his inclusive and quality coaching.

On winning the award, Zeb said: “It is great helping players improve their game but for me, just seeing people fall in love with the sport is amazing.

“I wake up every single morning excited about the day ahead and love the job I do. To win an award for that? I am completely over the moon.”

Zeb was nominated for the award by Tunbridge Wells Squash Club after he helped double their junior membership in the last year and encouraged more diversity within the male-dominated sport, with 40 per cent of Tunbridge Wells junior players now girls.

Working at clubs in Warlingham and Oxted, he has helped coach two players to number one in the English age-group rankings this season at The Limpsfield Club.

He is also credited with encouraging dozens of young people at Sevenoaks School who have never played squash to pick up a racket for the first time which now has around 100 regular players.

Zeb young said: “I love coaching. I am on court at 10am every day and lock up at 11pm. My whole life is built around squash; it is my absolute passion.”

A talented junior player himself, he stopped playing as a teenager until Kent Squash asked him to get involved in coaching.

After realising the power of coaching, Zeb quit his day job to follow his passion to help young players realise their sporting potential and coaches everyone from five to 70, even running adapted session for players with learning disabilities.

“Squash isn’t as visible as other sports,” he said, “You don’t tend to walk past a squash court like you do a cricket pitch or tennis court, so a lot of the battle is just getting people to try it.

“It is such a brilliant sport and as well as being a lot of fun. it teaches children some important life skills, helps grow their confidence, and builds resilience.”

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