Patrick Foster proud of legacy left on Bermuda squash scene
Patrick Foster is proud of the legacy he is leaving behind after opting to leave his role at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association.
After 15 years with the club, Foster will be stepping down as Director of Squash at the end of this month, having accepted a similar role as Head of Squash at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club in Central London in the new year.
While admitting his sadness at ending his long association with not only the club but Bermuda as well, Foster conceded it was an opportunity he couldn’t afford to turn down.
“The job only comes up every 30 to 40 years and so once I got offered the role I couldn’t really turn it down,” he said. “However, it’s a bittersweet feeling, for sure.
“It’s one of those positions that is seen as a real feather in the cap for anyone and I’m really proud to have been given the opportunity. It’s a proper adventure and a bit of a leap of faith for my family, but it’s one we’re all looking forward to.
“It’s just an amazing opportunity and coupled with the length of time we have been here it was just the right time for myself and my family.
“I’ll dearly miss the squash club and all the people connected with it, but it’s a new adventure and a time to experience something different. With everything going on with Covid-19, it’s a tough way to finish and I haven’t really been able to say bye properly but it is what it is unfortunately.”
With his departure confirmed, Bermudian international Micah Franklin will be taking up the reins with Foster in no doubt his former protégé is the perfect replacement.
“Micah is more than ready to step into my role and lead the programme from here,” he added. “He’s been a part of every big tournament in recent years and it’s great to see a young Bermudian who has come through the programme himself now take this role.
“The club is going through a bit of a transition period but it is ready for a fresh start and having a new set of eyes and new enthusiasm in that role will be a great thing for squash in Bermuda.
“Micah has always been one of the players leading the way for the nation on the international stage, including at the Commonwealth Games, and now it’s his time to lead the squash club itself.
“There is a real buzz of young players and coaches involved at the club like Rachel Barnes, Noah Browne and Anaya Smith. It’s a brilliant programme and I have no concerns at all.”
Reflecting on his time in Bermuda, Foster will have fond memories of featuring in and playing his part in organising a number of prestigious events such as the Bermuda Open, Legends of Squash and the World Squash Championships.
However, a legacy of the prolonged strength of the club’s youth programme and being able to help nurture the journeys of players such as Franklin is what gives him the greatest sense of pride.
“I came out here as a young man and learnt so much from being part of some major professional events like the World Championships,” Foster, 43, said. “Playing-wise, it gave me a new lease of life and to be able to win a number of events was a real thrill in front of good crowds.
“The Legends events will always be among my favourite memories. Being able to bring over former world champions and No 1 players was a real joy.
“However, I’m probably most proud that the junior and youth programmes have remained really strong during my time here. It’s really fulfilling to see some of those young players I helped coach now coming through and taking over the club. It’s amazing to see.
“I think that will be my real legacy, if you like. Being part of big events was great but to be able to help nurture young players and help that natural evolution at the club is incredible.
“That doesn’t happen at every club and to have that continuation of people who have come through the club is amazing to have in Bermuda.
“It’s actually really surreal to see children I’ve taught now taking over and coaching the next generation of young players. That’s the most satisfying thing for me; I’m really proud of that.
“I feel that was my main responsibility while in Bermuda and I hope I’ve managed to leave a strong legacy behind.”