MEETING WITH MISTER BIG!
It would take your whole day to go around the club to be honest,
but Mr Metwally showed me a few places and we nicely walked
around the grounds. I took my life into my hands to take that
swimming pool picture - as it was taken from the diving thingy -
however you call it in English - and I suffer from vertigo! That
the way, I counted 3 different pools - one "small" on the right
side of the building, then the main one, with the diving pool,
and the inside pool as well. I tell you, I wish I would live
around here, I would spend my days in there!
We also created chaos when we asked for the Youth Centre to be
opened to take a panoramic view of the whole of the place.
Kindly, the security got the clearance and we went up and
enjoyed the breathtaking view. It is something I have to say...
Then, I was lucky enough to meet with Mr Mohamed Farag Amer,
the President of the Smouha Club. And as his time is extremely
precious - there are 38 sports here, including Polo and
Jumping! So needless to say Mr Big has a few dozen people
waiting for meeting with him every minute of the day!
Mr Amer has been president of the club for "many, many years" as
he smiled. He arrived here in 1997 for 48 days,
appointed by the Prime Minister to be the President of the club,
then left to come back elected in February 1998. Previous
to that, Mr Amer was the President of the Horse Owner's Club and
the President of Jokey Club, to which he introduced a lot of
The club is as I told you already the second biggest club in the
country, and an extremely successful one. They are at the moment
undergoing a lot of refurbishment, and there are a lot of
scaffoldings and paint smell everywhere, proof that the club is
But the biggest of them all in terms of refurbishment, I just
heard that Smouha is about to build a complex with 29 courts!!!!!
38 sports here, but squash is one of the most sought for sports"
says proudly Mr Amer. "Our
members play squash more and more. As you know, we have great squash
champions that we trained since they were very young, at the
moment our most famous are of course Mohamed and Marwan
Elshorbagy, Salma Hany, Mariam Metwally and the World Junior
Champion Rowan Elaraby.
"The facilities we have at the moment, 9 courts, are just not
enough to meet with the demands of our members. So we have found the financing for a very new compound for our
Squash Club, with 28 traditional courts and one centre glass
court. We will start the building very soon, in two parts, first
16 courts plus the central court with a 3,000 spectators
capacity, and once that portion is built, we will start with the
"With those courts come other facilities of
course like gym, spa, physio rooms, etc. The whole new complex
will be built on 10,000 squash meters and should take a year for
the first part of the project, and another 12 months to finish
"This construction is not really aimed at competition", he ads.
demand of our members pushed us to conceive and build that new
complex. But of course, we will then be able to organise local,
national and international competitions as well."
So there you have it. I may come here more and more in
the near future. And when I ask Mr Amer what is the secret of
such a successful enterprise that is Smouha, he smiles:
"The secret is all about
selecting the right people to work in dedicated teams with the
same excellence principles, the same goals, the same purpose,
the same ideas. We fix targets, and all of us are trying to do
our best to reach those targets.
"Sometimes we succeed, sometimes
we do not achieve enough, so we try again, with other people, or
with the reassessing of our goals. And we keep on pushing our
limits further and further, there is no end to our search of excellency."