Matthew launches new initiative to help uncover stars of the future
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg joined triple World champion Nick Matthew at Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club on Friday evening, after overseeing the launch of a new local project that aims to inspire young people to get involved in squash.
Clegg, the MP for Sheffield Hallam, attended a squash coaching session for local children and even accepted Matthew’s invitation to join him on court.
But while their knock-around failed to match the comical events that unfolded between broadcaster Piers Morgan and Australian bowler Brett Lee earlier this month, Matthew was delighted to attract the support of his local MP.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to get local kids active and enjoying squash and it’s a big boost to have someone like Nick Clegg involved and supporting the initiative,” the 33-year-old said.
We need to make it easy for everyone, from every background, to get some coaching and start playing and loving being fit and active.”
The initiative, supported by England Squash & Racketball, is aimed at inspiring the younger generation and providing children in Sheffield and Rotherham with the opportunity for sustained, long-term participation through coaching programmes at local sports clubs.
Juniors will also receive the opportunity to join Matthew at the British Open in Hull later this year.
Clegg added: “I was delighted to be able to support Nick and this outstanding project. We all know about his talents as an outstanding squash player. But by giving something back to the community and getting involved with this project, Nick is also showing what a great ambassador he is for sport.
“Whether it be triple world squash champion Nick Matthew, gold medal winning Jessica Ennis-Hill, Wimbledon Champion Jonathan Marray or England Cricket star Joe Root – Sheffield youngsters have an array of local sports stars to inspire them to get involved.”
The launch of the scheme caps a busy few days for Matthew, who was a guest of honour at the British Junior Open finals earlier this week and recently appeared on the BBC Inspired series – a nationwide campaign to encourage young people to partake in new sports and activities.