Shanneyganock expected to run 'Home, boys, home" after squash match against CBS Hot Shots

After being twice canceled due to weather earlier this year, the Conception Bay South Hot Shots are finally hosting their Evening of Squash with members of the band Shanneyganock later this month.

Regular participants of the inclusive program, which focuses on those with neurodevelopmental disabilities, mobility disabilities, and sight disabilities, will square off in the courts against members of the popular Irish and traditional muisc band.

The band members professe they are completely green to the sport, which is where much of the fun may be derived from.

“We are totally expecting to get our butts kicked but it should be a fun evening for sure,” said Shanneyganock frontman Chris Andrews.

Shanneyganock has been involved with Easter Seals and the Autism Society before, which makes the inclusive squash program fall right in line with their previous work.

Andrews was impressed with the care and dedication program coordinator Eric Hart has put into the event and Hot Shots at large.

“I think it’s a good thing all around,” he said.

Hart wanted to enrich the programming for his players, offering them something different beyond the day in day out rhythms of practise and competing.

“We wanted to add a little bit more spice to it,” he said.

Originally Hart was surprised when the band accepted his offer, but they were more than happy to lend their time.

Hart is hoping to promote the program through events like this, letting the public know about this accessible and inexpensive program that gives those with disabilities some solid recreation time.

“It only takes one second for someone to have an accident, and an able bodied person finds themself in a wheelchair,” he said.

The program, Hart says, doesn’t train people with disabilities any less. The goal is to get players to be the best they can be, even if they’re completely blind.

“We may not be able to teach squash to people who are completely blind, but that doesn’t mean we won’t run ‘em, that doesn’t mean we won’t teach them how to hold a racket or how to hit a drive, or how to make a serve.”

Several blind folks may even find themselves in a heavily modified squash tournament that still embraces a competitive spirit.

Hart hopes people away from their exhibition match with Shanneyganock having made new friends, and a new appreciation for the band.

“I want the program to achieve what it does with the support of the local population, I want it to be made right here,” he said. “We want to convince other places in the world that you should have a program like this, and they’ll point back to Newfoundland.”

Although it may be tempting to watch the Shanneyganock musicians lose at squash for a good cause, Hart is quick to note no public spectators are allowed at the event because of the confined space.

The matches are set for the squash courts at the CBS Recreation Complex in Long Pond.

Chad Feehan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News