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Friday, October 7, 2022

Keir Worth is new chief at England Squash

Alan Thatcher
Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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Former High Performance head
is tasked with lifting the game

New ESR chief Keir Worth
New ESR chief Keir Worth

England Squash and Racketball have made Keir Worth the new chief executive.

The former Head of the Coaching and Performance division returns to the Manchester HQ tasked with increasing participation figures, which have dropped to around 300,000 players.

Squash Mad understands he must wait approximately 11 weeks before starting in his new post after handing in his notice to the British Shooting Association, where he was appointed as Performance Director in October 2013.

Worth, 40, is a former Kent junior county player who rose up the coaching ranks to oversee one of the most comprehensive and successful coaching departments in the game before leaving the association a few months ago for a senior management post with an Olympic sport.

England Squash had come under pressure from Sport England to make changes at the top after failing to meet participation targets set by the national funding body.

That led to the resignation of Chief Executive Nick Rider and, more recently, his No.2 Jim Lord, plus a reduction in funding coupled with a threat that more cuts might follow if figures continued to decline.

However, England’s success at elite level, with Nick Matthew and Laura Massaro as world champions and the men’s squad winning the World Team Championships, would have underscored Worth’s appointment to this key post.  

A statement on the ESR website announced: 

England Squash & Racketball are pleased to announce the appointment of Keir Worth as Chief Executive Officer. 

Worth rejoins ESR from British Shooting, having previously been employed as ESR Head of Coaching and Performance during a very successful period, culminating in England’s men becoming World Team Champions.

ESR Chairman Peter Goldson said: “I am delighted that we have been able to attract Keir to return to ESR, where his main priority will be to increase the numbers of people playing squash and racketball in England.

“Keir has exceptional knowledge of our sports and is also highly respected by Sport England, our major stakeholder.”

Worth commented: “The CEO is a privileged role that I have always aspired to achieve and I am thrilled to have been selected to lead the challenge on improving participation and completing the transition that is already under way to make ESR into a high-performing National Governing Body.”


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  1. Un-written Rule in business – Never re-engage someone who has previously ‘jumped ship’ .Following the ‘exodus’ of Zena Wooldridge, Nick Ryder, Keir Worth,and Jim Lord, under whose leadership the sport in England has suffered badly, with the exception of our star Seniors and a handful of juniors, most of whom are coached outside of the ESR framework, it does appear strange not to kick-start the operation with fresh blood. Huge credit is due to David Pearson, Jonah Barrington, Phil Whitlock, Malcolm Willstrop, Ben Ford, Paul Selby, Hadrian Stiff, Tim Vail, Jonathan Kemp, and a few others who are collectively making vital differences to players achievements, or have I got it wrong ?!!

  2. No, sounds about right. As for kick-starting the operation with fresh blood – that really would surprise me!

  3. Thanks for the back-up, Simon, very much appreciated. I have found the lack of response over this matter quite disturbing. There has long been a culture among those whose Squash careers are most affected by ESR to take the medicine rather than speak out for fear of reprisal, or exclusion in some shape or form. Many have walked away from the sport in sheer frustration. The utter lack of transparency has reigned for many years in a National Governing Body that is so detached from the people that it is, supposedly, paid to represent. The number of quick-fixes, knee-jerk reactions, and frequent changes in regional staffing, has wrecked any hope of stability in the counties. “Mushroom Management” so often appears to be the rule , as do ‘bullet-proof ‘ jobs, regardless of the mess created at various intervals by those responsible for decision-making. It is extremely sad that so few have the backbone to dare to criticise, constructively or otherwise.

  4. Well, this worked out well! What a disaster. ES, and Keir in particular, have singularly failed to harness the extensive goodwill amongst the squash community, nor grow the pockets of vigour which still exist.

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