Rhiwbina Recreation Club
The Rhiwbina Recreation Club celebrated its centenary in 2014. The Rhiwbina Garden Village Society decided in early 1914 to grant a lease of 7.6 acres of land to the Rhiwbina Sports Club for "the laying out of playing areas"; and this lead to the creation of the Rhiwbina Recreation Club. A newly erected pavilion and the playing areas were opened at a ceremony on 9 May 1914.
The Club, particularly in its formative years, has performed an important role in the social life of Rhiwbina and has hosted more than a dozen organisations associated with drama, music and religion. Up to the Second World War it organised the Rhiwbina Fete and Carnival.
The original Club colours were blue and white and in 1935 a pine tree was chosen to be the Club badge (Rhiwbina means 'hill of pines'). In the 1970's the pine tree was incorporated in a shield with the Welsh dragon on top of the pine tree and three chevrons (the Cardiff coat of arms).
The club is home to indoor and outdoor bowls, rugby, squash, tennis and table tennis. It also caters for a whole range of social activities - cards, quizzes, dances, radio club and many more.
The Club currently has over 600 playing members and over 200 social members.
Origin of the Squash Club
The idea of a squash section was first raised by members of the Tennis Section in 1966, at a time when squash was seen as an up and coming game and as a potential money-maker for the Club. In May 1971 a squash court costing £7,000 was opened. The annual membership fee was £40 and a limit of 100 was set on membership numbers. This limit was reached within months of the opening day, with many tennis members joining. The success was such that a second court was opened in April 1973.
The members established a highly competitive league system with twelve leagues each consisting of five players. In 1973 the Club entered two teams in the South Wales League.
The section continued to thrive, with a long waiting list of applicants over the 100 member limit. A third court was included in the next stage of development and a grant of £17,500 was awarded by the Sports Council for Wales towards the court and related development, which included changing rooms and showers. The total cost of this development was £49,500. The third court was opened early in 1978 when membership increased to 256, including 56 juniors. This still left a waiting list of over 100, so in less than 10 years of the section being formed, it had become the largest section of the Club.
In 2016 the club embarked on an adventurous development involving the building of an international-standard glass-backed fourth court, the conversion of the third court into a glass-backed court and the creation of a viewing area for over 150 spectators. This development cost £111,000 and was partially funded by £23,000 in grants and a member donation of £25,000.
Despite the fact that interest in squash has declined since the turn of the century the section membership remains strong at over 200 members. The section currently has 8 teams in the South Wales Leagues and has over 20 internal Leagues, each with at least 5 players.
A high standard of play has been maintained within the section and the teams have been successful with a number of members representing Wales in many age categories.
It is with excitement that we approach the Squash Club's 50 years of existence (1973-2023).
source: Rhiwbina Recreation Club, A Hundred Years of Local, Sporting Excellence (1914-2014)