One Health sponsor world champion’s Sheffield academy
By FAYE ANDREWS
Squash superstar Nick Matthew has taken the first steps to securing a lasting legacy in the sport by teaming up his own academy with One Health Group, the Apex Squash and Racketball Programme and the Hallamshire Squash Club in a unique partnership.
The Sheffield-based three-time world champion will be playing a full role in the new partnership based at Hallamshire.
Matthew, aged 35, recently won the British National title for a record eighth time to further enhance his position as one of the most successful English-born player in history.
He has now teamed up with One Health – who work with the NHS to treat patients referred by their GP for orthopaedics, spine, general surgery and gynaecology – to create a pathway for young players to progress from beginners through to international tournaments.
Nick said: “Developing and working with the next generation of squash players is very important to me. The sport has given me so much over the years so to be in a position to give something back is a privilege.
“It was important to find a sponsor who shares the same ethos and values as myself and lead coach Neil Guirey. In the One Health Group I’m delighted to be partnered by an organisation which understands the demands of sport and how to get the very best out of every individual.
“This is very much phase one of my plans for the academy. While I’m still playing and winning tournaments I can use my position within the game to inspire young players to try squash, in the first instance, and then to develop their game alongside some of the country’s top coaches.”
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Derek Bickerstaff, chief executive of One Health Group, said:
“We’re pleased to be partnering with the Nick Matthew Academy and the Apex programme at Hallamshire in this exciting venture. This is a five-year sponsorship which shows our commitment to the project.
“Squash is a fast, dynamic sport which can be played people of any age or ability. However, by working with Nick we’ll be able to play a vital role in encouraging more young players into the game to give it a strong base.
“One Health has traditionally always had very close relationships with sports teams and individuals. Nick is someone we have worked with for a number of years and we’re proud we can continue our friendship with the academy.”
Matthew, who was awarded an OBE in 2015, is also a three-time British Open champion, triple Commonwealth Games gold medallist and headed the world rankings in 2010.