Andy Hepworth is delighted to be ‘back home’ and setting out on a year-long internship at Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis & Squash Club.
There is a good chance that most club members will be catching up with Andy over the next 12 months in his varied role at WLTSC, be it involved in marketing activities and events, on the squash court, or supervising in the shop.
A member of the club for the last seven years, he is back on home soil for the internship as part of his Business Marketing Degree at Aberystwyth University.
“When I first saw the club was looking for a marketing co-ordinator and reception supervisor I jumped at the chance to apply,” he says.
“It is a perfect combination for my internship, to do some marketing and also learn about the business side as well.
“It is almost like two different jobs merged into one, and I have also been able to get involved on the squash side which is great.
“I am really looking forward to working with Marc (Hughes) and all the different people at the club and hopefully helping WLTSC to continue to move forward.
“There are targets to try and increase the membership numbers and to get more people playing the different sports and that is a challenge I am looking forward to.”
Andy first joined WLTSC at the age of 14.
Games of squash with his brother and Grandad on holiday stirred an enjoyment of the sport which saw him looking around for the right venue to continue to play after he returned home.
“I lived quite close to the club and knew there were courts here but wasn’t really aware of everything it had to offer,” Andy explains.
“You probably can’t see all of that just from driving down Newbridge Crescent but then, when you visit, it opens up into such a fantastic facility.
“I joined the club and became so passionate about squash – it really changed things for me because up until then I was mainly playing as a goalkeeper in a football team.
“I started playing squash with the team squads, which made me realise I needed to improve, and I had some lessons with Darren (Lewis).
“At the time I also thought I was quite fit, but I really wasn’t!
“I got in the gym, the Energise lads really helped me out with a lot of sport-specific training, and I lost so much
weight and got so fit.
“I have really missed it since being away at University, but I think it certainly helped me out because I have been the number one in the squash team there so far.”
Now back on his old stomping ground, the challenge for Andy will be to mix business with pleasure by enjoying a successful year during the internship.
“I think the club has improved so much from seven years ago,” he explains.
“I remember back then you had to put a stamp on a big wooden board to book a court but now it can all be done online with the My Courts system.
“The atmosphere is great as well and everyone is so welcoming.
“Maybe things are a little bit more relaxed than they used to be – there are still all the benefits of it being a Members club but there is a really active social scene and it is great to see so many people coming up and chatting in the bar after enjoying their sport.
“When the weather has been like it is this week, it is even better, and I am really looking forward to working here for the next year.”