By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)
Nick Matthew is travelling from Yorkshire down to Sussex today to spearhead the launch of interactiveSQUASH at Crowborough Tennis and Squash Club.
Three-times world champion Nick will be busy throughout the day, leading coaching sessions and fun games on the court housing the interactiveSQUASH system.
The project is the brainchild of Lee Wicks, who sees the installation as the ideal way to rejuvenate the squash scene at the club.
During the evening the club will announce plans for a special interactiveSQUASH event on World Squash Day which will help to raise money to support the squash community in Ukraine.
Lee told me: “I first discovered interactiveSQUASH when I saw a post on LinkedIn. Now, 18 months later, I am fortunate enough to be the UK Partner to Lymb.io, the German start-up, and now to finally have the first system in the South East of England at the Crowborough club in Sussex.
“As a coach returning to the sport after a 20-year absence I was shocked at the decline in participation. It was therefore an easy and instant decision to embrace the new technology as a possible way to attract the young, the fun, families, and older members from our local town, who wouldn’t normally come to a traditional tennis and squash club.
“Nick became involved in interactiveSQUASH when he and I were introduced by a mutual friend and had both had a similar reaction the first time we saw children playing on the interactiveSQUASH court.
“Joining forces, with Nick becoming the Ambassador for the system and movement, has been fantastic as we are both passionate about promoting new and exciting ways to develop the game while maintaining the traditional aspects that make the game the game we love.
“It is a pleasure to be able to work with such a humble, hard working guy, who puts as much in off the court as he did when he was on it!”
Lee and Nick have mapped out a full day of activity and Lee added: “We have seven sessions running from 3:45pm through till about 9:30pm. We have sessions for racketball (women and men), two junior sessions, club juniors and county juniors. Then we’ve got local club squash players, and players from Poultwood, Tunbridge Wells, West Worthing and Nutley squash clubs.
“The sessions will be three quarter squash court format with four to six players for each session. Nick will run them through some drills, using different aspects of the interactiveSQUASH system, some games and some training modules.
“Nick will do a bit of coaching and demonstrate how to use the interactiveSYSTEM for all levels and abilities from solo, pairs and group practice sessions. And finally, what everyone is looking forward to, is a hit with Nick, so we’ll have a winner stays on three-quarter squash or racketball game format.
“The last part of the evening will be an auction. We will auction off a one-game match with Nick, for the person that bids the most money for that honour. The money will go towards an event we are running for World Squash Day on October 15 at Crowborough.
“We will also join forces with other squash clubs around the world that have an interactiveSQUASH system. We will raise funds for the Ukrainian Squash Federation in their endeavour to try and get their women’s team to the women’s World Team Championships in Egypt in December. So anything we can do to help that cause will be greatly received.
“None of this would be possible without the support of our amazing squash community, the club committee, Sussex Squash and my two investors.
“A huge thank you to Nick in his ambassador role for interactiveSQUASH and to Sanne Veldkamp and her father Marc, for their experience and assistance using and demonstrating the product at the various events we run.”
Download the interactiveSQUASH app at Playstore or Apple.