‘Our aim is to sustain all aspects of the game’ says Keir Worth
By DONNA HELMER and ALAN THATCHER
England Squash has been awarded a total of £7.9 million over the next funding cycle from Sport England as part of a series of major new investments aimed at keeping the nation active.
The national governing body has been awarded a core market award of £3,937,375, a talent award of £2,134,000 and high performance award of £750,000.
In February, Sport England awarded England Squash £1,141,250 to support regular players of the game. The additional investment will allow England Squash to focus on those regular squash players who are seeking more informal and social opportunities to play the game.
England Squash will also focus on reducing the barriers to female participation where currently one in four players are female. A talent award is also provided to continue to develop talented young players, not only to progress through the sport but to make that experience as positive as possible.
Commenting on today’s announcement, England Squash CEO Keir Worth (right) said: “We are delighted with the funding award which gives us a tremendous opportunity to build on the good progress we have made and ensure that the sport can continue to flourish at the pace of the last three years. This funding will allow us to deliver our new strategy over the next cycle.
“Our aspirations remain very high as we look to increase participation, redefine and enhance the squash experience, develop world-leading teams and maximise revenue potential to sustain all aspects of the game.
“We would like to thank Sport England and National Lottery for their ongoing support, and we look forward to working with them, our partners and the squash community to move the sport forward on all fronts.”
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, who on Saturday visited the thriving Mid-Kent Junior League at The Mote Squash Club in Kent, said: “National governing bodies play a key role in delivering sport at the grassroots, encouraging people to get involved and keep participating. They also help develop the next generation of talent.
“This investment of close to £30 million from the government and National Lottery will help football, squash, boxing and wheelchair basketball support participants, bring communities together and have a positive impact on hundreds of thousands of people’s lives.”
Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith said: “These investments are the latest in a series of National Lottery funding commitments Sport England are making to help keep people active by playing sport regularly.
“Each of the four national governing bodies will be working hard to provide their regular players with the experience they want, so they will keep playing. They are also trying to make those regulars a more diverse group, with some specific efforts to attract more women, more people with disabilities and those less well-off to enjoy their sport and live an active life.”
Picture by CLAIRE GOODAYLE (The Mote Squash Club)