Not even the adverse weather conditions in south east England could prevent the latest IRTA visit to a real tennis court. IRTA member and Oxford student Alvar Soosaar was kind enough to arrange some court time on the Merton College court in Oxford for David Lowry and the rest of the travelling Trinity College squash players on Thursday and Friday last. Dublin University Squash Rackets Club (DUSRC) was in Oxford to partake in what is becoming an annual tie against Oxford. This offered the perfect opportunity to introduce a lot of the travelling members an introduction to the sport and offered David Lowry the chance to take on Alvar and get a lesson in. Court time was arranged on early Thursday morning and the first slot was filled by singles action between Alvar and David. Both players were quickly warmed up on the chilly court with some extended rallies. Neither person willing to give up the advantage of playing on the service end, potential second bounces were feverishly chased down! After the friendly match up, a lesson was arranged with Alan Oliver, one of the professionals at the club. The lesson concentrated on the some of the most crucial aspects of the game, namely the serve and the service return. Skills were honed and new skills acquired in both fields, both maybe felt that the new knowledge would have stood them in good stead in the preceding match!

On the Friday, a lesson was arranged for the travelling squash players. The lesson was aimed to give the participants a taste of the sport, most have which had never been on court before and some of which had barely heard of the sport before the tour. A brief explanation of the rules (as brief as it could be!) started the lesson. After that, all the players tried some serves with most finding the weight of the ball and the small ‘sweet spot’ on the racket making even serving a ball a difficult task. Returns were practised too before the players divided into teams of two for doubles. A quick round-robin was arranged, with a set consisting of the best of three games. With the rules not fully grasped, David Lowry took over the mantle of marker. The lesson was successful in that everyone got a feel for the sport and most were left wanting more! A huge amount of thanks goes to Alvar Soosaar for organising the court time and to Alan Oliver for undertaking so many complete beginners! Hopefully we'll see some more of the players on a court before long.

— David Lowry, 2010-01-20

David and Alvar Beginners' lesson