Friday, February 23, 2024

Nick Matthew supports Singapore as music, fun and fireworks launch World Squash Day

From Poznan and Graz to Colchester and Chattanooga, clubs go crazy for World Squash Day

By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor

World Squash Day 2018 is being launched with music and fireworks as clubs all over the globe join forces to promote the sport.

The Official Single for World Squash Day “Africa” (sung by Oliver Cheatham) is released tomorrow (Friday October 5th) on digital platforms.

Recorded live at a charity concert in Zambia, organised by squash-loving composer Stuart Sharp, it will be available for download and streaming.

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

As well as music, some creative projects in numerous countries are helping to showcase World Squash Day.

In South Africa, the Crusaders club in Port Elizabeth is holding a fund-raiser called Masters v Minions, with veterans taking on junior players to promote the health benefits for players of all ages.

In Poland, three clubs in Poznan are joining forces to stage a weekend festival.

After a tournament at one club on the Friday, World Squash Day will be ushered in with a massive fireworks display at midnight, followed by more events on court on the day itself culminating in a big party featuring a dance contest.

In Austria, the Squash Dome club will be partnering with the University of Graz to offer free squash lessons during the weekend to 80,000 students.

Similar events are being planned in Moscow, St Petersburg and Kyiv.

In the USA, the Scenic City Squash Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be reaching out into the community and launching a free squash project for disadvantaged children.

Former world champion Nick Matthew kindly recorded a video message to support the World Squash Day programme being planned by Singapore Squash.

In his message, Nick harked back to the glory days when the Singapore Open was one of the major events on the world calendar.

At Nick’s home club of Hallamshire, in Sheffield, World Squash Day features a drop-in family session for squash and racketball, a junior match against neighbours Abbeydale, followed by two graded mixed handicap tournaments and finishig up with a pizza party!

Members of the Lexden Squash Club in Colchester will take to their bikes to play squash at five 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.

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.

The course for intrepid Lexden members

A similar project is being planned in the Irish capital of Dublin, which will also include a team tournament and a dip in the sea as part of a fund-raising project for the Sandycove club’s junior section.

World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher, from England, said: “It’s very encouraging to see so many creative events taking place and we hope clubs all over the world will be bombarding their local radio stations to ask them to play Africa.

“As each day goes by we hear of some special events taking place on every continent. Squash is growing in eastern Europe and it’s great to see events taking place across Asia in China, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

“With the release of the song “Africa” we are hoping this will help to raise the profile of squash across the whole African continent.

“World Squash Day coincides with the finals day at the US Open and it’s wonderful to have a major tournament such as this in Philadelphia taking place alongside club projects all over the planet.”

Margot Robbie, who starred alongside Leonardo Di Caprio in the movie Wolf of Wall Street, has been invited to the Daisy Hill Squash Club in Brisbane, Australia.

Promoting World Squash Day during the Squash Squared and Squashinhos charity day at St George’s Hill, from left: Declan James, Alan Thatcher, James Willstrop, Charlie Lee and Brazilian international Ronnie Duarte


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