Thursday, February 29, 2024

PSA stars vote junior progress awards a massive hit

Off the Wall Squash turn back the clock with launch of Junior Progress Awards

Three of the best squash players in the world are backing an exciting new free training concept designed to challenge and boost the skills of junior players around the globe.

Commonwealth Games medallists Peter Barker and Daryl Selby from England and Australia’s Cameron Pilley believe the Junior Progress Awards, launched this week by UK squash and racketball academy Off The Wall Squash, will be a massive hit with young squash players.

The Progress Awards, available free to every club, coach and school, are designed to help young players master different shots, improve their all-round technique and boost their knowledge of the sport. The programme comes in an easy-to-follow format for coaches and teachers to use as part of their junior activity.

“I used to do these type of awards as a youngster, I just loved the challenge of practicing each skill and the nervous excitement of being tested, and then the elation when I passed,” recalled world number 8 star Peter Barker.

“The awards helped me develop a sound foundation to work from and my coach made sure I practiced until I perfected the skill. I can only applaud what Off The Wall Squash are doing to provide coaches and teachers with the tools to help develop junior squash.”

THE WAY WE WERE: Daryl and Peter in their early days as junior players learning the game
THE WAY THEY ARE: Selby and Barker still recall chasing their Junior Progress certificates

And his Essex colleague Selby revealed:” I still have my progress award certificates from when I was a kid. They were an important part of my development and I’m sure young players today will enjoy the challenge of testing themselves against all the required disciplines.”

Off The Wall squash is a community interest company and make the awards available as part of their commitment to the sport.

The awards are in six levels, with five skills per level and provide challenging but achievable practical tasks for young players to work on and master.

Levels 1 and 2 can be completed in a school hall and all six levels can be undertaken on a squash court.

The awards are available to download from the Off The Wall Squash Website

Cameron Pilley (left) and Peter Barker in action at the Commonwealth Games

Cameron Pilley, the Australian Number 1 and world Ranked 18, added: “Young squash players often aspire to be the best in the world and Progress Awards like will these help kids to develop these skills to get there.

“I’d love to see these awards being used in clubs and schools as they can only help squash grow and players improve.”

Matt McFahn, Off The Wall Squash Director of Coaching and Operations, explained the thinking behind the idea.

“Our team felt there was a significant gap in the opportunities available in the area of junior squash activity. When we were novice coaches there used to be something similar that helped us to both develop our junior players and also help us as coaches to increase our knowledge of how to develop and structure activity.

For further details contact:

Matt McFahn – 07728 554555

[email protected]


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