By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)
We saw plenty of graffiti around the glass court in Nantes last week for the Open de France inside Hangar 24. Singapore Squash have taken that creative theme one step further by inviting a bunch of kids inside a pristine all-glass showcourt and encouraging them to hit paint-covered balls at the walls in a new marketing project called Splash Paint Squash.
Kids in Singapore are literally painting the town red (plus loads of other colours) as they plan for loads of fun on World Squash Day.
This creative scheme, organised by Singapore Squash, is encouraging all age groups in the community to combine art with squash.
A group of youngsters enjoyed a trial run by splashing paint all over the federation’s court set up at the Singapore Island Country Club.
The children created some brilliant murals on the glass walls, and then it was the turn of the cleaning crew to return the court to a pristine condition.
Alex Wan, General Manager of Singapore Squash and a lifelong player, said: “Fortunately, all the paints were water-based. So the cleaners had an easy task to tidy up afterwards.
“The children who took part all enjoyed it and we hope hundreds will take part in special art projects connected to the game for World Squash Day.”
The art project is part of a wider scheme designed to engage with the whole community and especially schools to attract a new generation of children into the game.
Alex added: “Splash Paint Squash is part of our Squash For All project. We have started thinking of ways to be more inclusive and attract the non-squash fans and people new to the sport. Hence the Squash For All: whether you’re young or old, able or disabled, etc.
“In fact for our PSA gold event, the Marigold Singapore Open, at the OCBC Arena from November 15-20, we are focusing more on a non-fan zone than a fan zone.
“We’ll have squash taster events and even teaching people how to enjoy watching a match before we bring them to the stands to watch the event.”
The entry list currently includes many of the world’s top ten male and female players, led by Ali Farag, Paul Coll, Mostafa Asal, Diego Elias, Tarek Momen, Amanda Sobhy, Gina Kennedy, Joelle King, Rowan Elaraby, Sarah-Jane Perry and Gina Kennedy.
Alex is keen that the sport’s global superstars can help to ignite enthusiasm for newcomers to take up the sport.
As part of this process, he is also working hard to find spaces for outdoor courts, or just a fun wall to hit a ball against, to engage with youngsters who have never seen the inside of a squash court.
One problem facing Singapore is the imminent disappearance of the Kallang National Squash Centre, which is scheduled for demolition in December 2023.
At present, no new site has been identified to replace the historic building which has staged several major international events and serves as a training base for the national squads.
World Squash Day website
Pictures courtesy of Singapore Squash