Squash Classroom project backed by Australia’s sporting diplomacy policy
By Squash Australia
The Pakistan Squash Federation has launched a new development initiative in collaboration with Squash Australia and Sport Matters. The Squash Classroom is a development project proudly supported by the Australian Government that will use squash to promote health, gender equality and education for youth in Pakistan.
Australia’s Acting High Commissioner in Pakistan, Mr Jurek Juszcyk joined the program’s official launch at the Mushaf Squash Complex in Islamabad together with Jackie Lauff, CEO of Sport Matters from Australia, Group Captain Amir Nawaz, Secretary of the Pakistan Squash Federation, and Wing Commander Tahir Sultan, incoming Secretary of the Pakistan Squash Federation.
Seventeen youth leaders and mentors were on hand to introduce basic skills of squash and demonstrate some of the fun learning activities that will delivered to youth and primary school students around the country.
Mr Juszczyk said: “It is my pleasure to launch the Squash Classroom project in Pakistan. The Government of Australia is very proud to support this new initiative which aims to build on the strong legacy of squash in Pakistan and create new opportunities for young people.
“The Australian Government’s sports diplomacy policy provides an opportunity to inform, engage and influence youth, particularly emerging leaders and women and girls.
“More than 600 young Pakistanis will participate in the project this year. They will learn important skills and knowledge of squash and also messages about health, gender equality and education.”
Youth Leader from Peshawar, Ms Noorena Shams, emphasised the importance of creating opportunities for youth leadership and the value of linking education and sport together.
“Through this program the Pakistan Squash Federation and Squash Australia are enabling us to empower our pens through our rackets and give importance to physical education too.”
The program will begin in April in four cities; Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi and reach over 600 young people aged between 18 and 25 this year. This is the first initiative of its kind in Pakistan using squash to deliver key messages to children and youth on health, gender equality and education.
Three squash legends, Jahangir Khan, Maria Toorpakai and Farhan Mehboob, are also supporting The Squash Classroom as program ambassadors, and will be powerful role models for the youth leaders.
The Pakistan Squash Federation is pleased to work alongside many national and international youth and university partnership in the delivery of The Squash Classroom project, including the Higher Education Commission and the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYSDP) Working Group.
Earlier this year, twenty Youth Leaders and Mentors completed a Level 1 Coaching Course certified by the Asian Squash Federation and this weekend they continue their squash education at a three-day Referee Course.
The Squash Classroom project activities will culminate in a youth-led tournament in August in conjunction with both Independence Day celebrations and International Youth Day.
This is program will give a much needed boost at the grassroots level to support the revival of squash in Pakistan, and open doors for children and young people to access sport and education.
Pictures courtesy of Squash Australia