The Chongqing Squash Scene

First, do allow me brief personal anecdote you might possibly relate to.

For my entire youth, my twenties and up to my mid thirties I had always been very trim. But, I typically reached that point in life where all of a sudden, the belly began to protrude, my legs and my arms bloated, and excess flesh clinged to my neck and face. The scale hands steadily ticked past kilogram after kilogram before mercifully ceasing around 84.

I had taken on a few bad habits. A few years in my thirties, I was involved in a line of work where I had relatively little time for exercise, and daily breaks were spent in well known coffee establishments in addition to fast food meals.

As soon as my hands were freed, regaining my figure and fitness was a top priority. I turned to playing football as a start, so I set up a Wechat football group, dragged in around twenty foreigners living in reasonable distance and arranged two hour five a side football games twice a week at the Blue Lake Fitness Center in Yubei District.

The going was tough to say the least. Five minutes went by and I gasping for breath. The excess weight obviously put a lot of stress on my leg joints, and I regularly turned ankles and ended up missing out for a few painful weeks. When I paused for breath on the sidelines, I would often sink a can of beer to recharge my batteries before playing on. However, I did managed to stick it out for about six months, and though there was a marked improvement in my fitness., I didn’t really see any improvements in body shape. I was still firmly grounded at eighty three kilograms.

Something that always bothered me was the lack of reliability. Individuals would often commit to playing one day and then fail to turn up. So after six months, I was eventually fed up enough to ditch the football matches and turn to something new.

That’s where a good friend of mine suggested squash as our source of exercise. It just happened that the Blue Lake Fitness Centre had two such courts, so I readily agreed to give it try, and virtually fell in love with the sport from the word go.

I found it was certainly no exaggeration to say squash is great exercise. Gravely mistaken in the convinction my fitness was much better, but after five minutes of squash, I was once again gasping for dear life.

Slowly but surely, over the course of a year, I was able to play for the best part of an hour without collapsing in wretched heap. That was some cause for celebration, but my bodyweight had barely changed.

Then, in the middle of 2018, I was fortunate enough to stumble across the answer. It wasn’t diet or exercise, nor anything I had never imagined in my entire life, but the theory behind this holistic treatment was so clear to me that I resolved to try it myself as soon as possible. I began in July 2018, and as I write this article now in march 2019, my bodyweight is down to seventy six kilograms, and the flab is gone forever. People who haven’t met me in the last half year have almost fainted on seeing the results with their own eyes.

In a near future post, I am going to reveal this secret, Something that any able bodied person can do, the only potential obstacles being will power and self discipline. I won’t deny that diet and exercise are important, but there’s a vital process of bodily healing you must perform before these can play their part

Stay tuned, but now I want to return to the topic of the Chongqing squash scene.

 

Small circles

Compared to other sports, particularly football, basketball, badminton and table tennis, naturally, squash in Chongqing has a very marginal following. But nevertheless, there are places you can go that have good quality courts

The first squash courts I knew of in Chongqing were those at Blue Lake Fitness Center in Yubei District. On passing by to play football on the outside pitches, we would walk past the two adjacent courts. Not long after we began playing squash, we chatted with a Chinese coaching couple who invited us to attend a tournament on Changbin Lu长滨路, a road that stretches along the Yangtze on the southern side of the Yuzhong peninsula.

Needless to say, we lost all our matches pitifully, but the event itself was worthwhile. Most of the city-wide enthusiasts turned up, enough to maybe fill a court, including more coaches, and even the Canadian consul to Chongqing.

The courts were great quality, but that was unfortunately the last we ever saw of them. The Yangtze water levels rose drastically following a summer deluge and flooded the courts. Instead of restoring them to former glory, the owner elected to close up shop and head for Shanghai.

The next place I learned of was MIKI squash in a more near the Olympic stadium at Yuanjiagang袁家岗, the home of Chongqing Dangdai Lifan Football Club. Through the grapevine I had come in contact with a new Canadian friend who had thirty years of squash under his belt. We managed to organize an hour of squash, and I drove the an hour each way. One court was inside the mall itself, a fully transparent glass court in the middle of the shopping center where you can enjoy being a public curiosity, and also a couple of traditional courts tucked away in a carpark backroom. The courts were decent enough quality, but they were too far and pricey to become a feasible option for us.

That was also the first and last time I set foot there, as it soon conspired the shopping center ordered them to close for some unexplained reason.

Later, I also learn of a single squash court at Palm Springs Fitness Center棕榈泉体育中心. Since the court was okay and virtually next door to us, that’s where we moved the show. Before long, though, we become less satisfied with the quality of the courts. A big issue were two pillars at the back corners that protrude into the court and affect our game. At first, we didn’t really care, but it bothered us ever more as we continued to improve. Since few people used the court apart from us, the staff also neglected to clean the flooring on a regular basis, or fix a hole in the plaster on the front wall. As soon as we heard Blue Lake was undertaking an overhaul of their facilities, we resolved to run down our membership card and move back as quickly as we could.

About a year or two ago, a new squash club opened at the Aegean Mall,  also in Yubei District not far from home. For a long time, I had never heard of it, but eventually took a trip over specially to track them down. It is part of a huge underground fitness complex that is completely hidden away from sight at ground level. I walked around aimlessly for half an hour before I asked somebody who led me down a lift and pointed me in the right direction.

Perhaps you are towards the end of your tether, dear reader, so let me go straight to the cut and tell you the top two options worth considering for squash in Chongqing as present.

Nano Squash Club 纳米壁球俱乐部

1st Basement Floor (B1), Rose Street, Aegean Mall, Yubei District

渝北区力帆爱琴海玫瑰节负一楼

 

Pros;

Purpose built squash facility with five professional standard glass courts.

Well developed membership and social scene.

Great range of amenities, restaurants and entertainment complexes outside.

Open events for non members.

Coaching for all ages available.

Cons;

Expensive – 3600 Yuan for yearly membership, but no further costs for using the facilities or attending events.

Inadequate showering facilities.

 

Longfor Blue Lake Fitness Club 龙湖蓝湖郡体育中心

1111 Jinkai Blvd, Yubei District 金开大道1111号

Pros;

High quality and recently refurbished courts.

Clean and stylish changing rooms with showers, sauna and bathroom.

Excellent value. 60 Yuan an hour for non members. Discounts up to 35 percent available for prepaid membership cards.

A great variety other sporting activities are available on the same premises.

Cons;

A little inaccessible without personal transport.

The carpark and roads outside are rammed with cars of neighbouring restaurant patrons every evening.

Please take a moment share with friends!