Saturday, February 24, 2024

Creative clubs reach out on World Squash Day

New Dr Who Jodie Whittaker played junior squash in Yorkshire

New Dr Who could spread squash from Sheffield across the galaxy!
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor

Squash clubs across England are opening their doors this Saturday to promote the sport on World Squash Day.

As well as staging open days to showcase the fun and health benefits that squash offers, many clubs are engaging with their local communities.

Members of the Lexden Squash Club in Colchester will take to their bikes to play squash at four neighbouring clubs in the English county of Suffolk, aiming to cover 90 miles in around 12 hours.

The intrepid riders will set off at 6am and visit Ipswich, Stowmarket, Moreton Hall and the Officers Club in Colchester before completing the journey back at Lexden.

The course for intrepid Lexden members

They will be raising money for a charity called Florence’s Heroes, which has been set up to support specialist care for premature babies and sick children.

Warwick Boat Club are holding a 24-hour sponsored squashathon to raise funds for The Friendship Project, which helps disadvantaged children between the ages of six and 16.

The Friendship Project is a mentoring service offering one-to-one work with children to help their confidence, self-esteem and have some fun. It has already helped more than 1,000 local children.

In Essex, squash players at Gidea Park are holding a busy programme of events to celebrate their courts being saved.

The David Lloyd Club management had decided to close the courts to introduce a new fitness class called Blaze but changed their minds following a protest campaign led by the members.

Campaign leader Laura Northeast said: “It was a very heartening decision after programmes devised by our talented young coach Niall Engerer had grown the squash membership from around 70 to more than 200 in a year and a half.”

World Squash Day 2018 has already captured the imagination with an Official Single (“Africa” sung by Oliver Cheatham, pictured, and written by squash-loving London-based composer Stuart Sharp) released last week by the Pure Sync label.

It is available to download or stream on digital platforms.


A share of the royalties is being pledged towards development projects in squash.

At the Hallamshire club in Sheffield, the lifetime training base of three-times world champion Nick Matthew, members will be arranging a full day of events including a junior friendly against neighbours Abbeydale.

Some members are planning to invite actress Jodie Whittaker (above), a former Yorkshire junior player who has become the first female Dr Who. The opening episode of the new series broadcast on Sunday showed Jodie deal with aliens in Sheffield.

Maybe World Squash Day had better widen its outreach across the galaxy in future years!


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