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Shanneyganock expecting to run ‘Home, boys, home’ after squash match against CBS Hot Shots

By Chad Feehan / Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Members of the CBS Hot Shots Inclusive Squash Program will be going toe to toe in friendly matches against members of the popular Newfoundland band Shanneyganock later this month. The Hot Shots include, from left: organizer Eric Hart, Daniel Horne, Nicholas Styles, Meghan Arnott, Shaughn Connors, Chris Coveyduck, Luke Kennedy, David Horne, Warren Butler and Cameron Coates. A number of the athletes are wearing the medals they earned at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary held this past winter. See story page 6.

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 sports program, which focuses on athletes with neurodevelopmental, mobility, and sight disabilities, will square off in the courts against members of the popular Irish and traditional music band.
The band members profess 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 the band’s previous work.
Andrews was impressed with the care and dedication that 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 and day out rhythms of practice 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 the 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 goal of the program, Hart added, 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 them, 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 people may even find themselves in a heavily modified squash tournament that still embraces a competitive spirit.
Hart hopes the participants will leave their exhibition matches with Shanneyganock having made new friends, and gaining 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,” Hart 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 that 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.

Shanneyganock frontman Chris Andrews during the band’s appearance in the Iceberg Alley Performance Tent. Andrews and the crew will play a series of friendly matches against members of the CBS Hot Shots Inclusive Squash Program later this month. Photo courtesy of the Shanneyganock facebook page

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