Laura and Nick urge clubs to get involved to grow the game
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
England’s leading squash players are encouraging every club in the country to open their doors to support World Squash Day.
This annual event to promote the game takes place on Saturday October 14th and former world champions Nick Matthew and Laura Massaro are urging clubs to organise events to attract new players to the sport.
Three-times world champion Matthew said: “World Squash Day is a great opportunity to showcase to a new audience not just the health benefits of squash but how much fun it can be.
“Any initiative that can help to get people through the door of squash clubs to try squash for the first time has to be supported and World Squash Day is doing this on a global scale, which is great. Despite me ‘hopefully’ being in Philadelphia (for the US Open) I’m sure my local club, Hallamshire, will be supporting the day.”
Massaro, women’s world champion in 2014, added: “I am very passionate about getting more girls and women to play squash and World Squash Day is a fantastic opportunity for people who may never have tried squash to give it a go. I hope every squash club out there will be putting on fun activities on the day to get lots of people to discover how great squash is.”
Massive health benefits of squash
World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher, a tournament organiser and author from Kent, is keen to promote the health benefits of playing squash.
He said: “Squash is rated one of the healthiest sports for players of all ages. At a time when many governments are spending a fortune on treating the effects of childhood obesity and a lack of physical activity among middle-aged people, squash can provide the ideal solution.
“Squash burns around 900 calories per hour and the health benefits can last a lifetime for those who continue playing into their 40s, 50s, 60s and even further.
“We have a thriving Masters scene in squash with competitors aged from 35 to 85.
“Looking at the PSA World Tour, all of the players are remarkable athletes who produce truly dynamic entertainment at the highest level. We are very fortunate to have such outstanding role models in the game.
“Without exception, all of the world’s top players became involved in squash by playing at their local clubs.
“That’s where the journey always starts, and that’s why we need to promote grass-roots squash to keep that pathway open, to grow the numbers of participants, and to provide healthy sporting opportunities for our local communities.”
Alan, who is chairman of The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, Kent, is a doubles enthusiast and he added: “We have a busy programme of events on World Squash Day at The Mote.
“We will be holding special events for juniors and free coaching to attract new male and female players to the sport before our annual Champagne Doubles competition.”
WORLD SQUASH DAY: HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Clubs are encouraged to hold fun events to attract new players to the sport, to generate publicity for their clubs, and to engage with other sporting organisations.
11 POINTS TO MAKING IT A SPECIAL DAY
1: Build a team to manage your WSD event
2: Book the courts
3: Download the WSD logos to produce your own posters and T-shirts
4: Ask your coach or coaches to arrange free introductory coaching for newcomers
5: Arrange fun events for existing members
6: Invite the local media to get involved and cover the event
7: Invite local celebrities, your local MP, your local Mayor, local sports council leaders, and stars from other sports who might be available
8: Ask existing and potential sponsors to get involved (they might offer some prizes on the day)
9: Invite youth organisations to come along and try out the sport
10: Invite members from neighbouring sports clubs to try their hand at squash. Make sure they have a fun time and fully appreciate the fitness benefits of playing squash!
11: Make sure you post news of your event on the World Squash Day Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as your own usual media outlets
To contact World Squash Day, please email Alan Thatcher at: [email protected]
Picture from Squash Mad archive