Squash NZ link up with Mental Health Foundation
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
National squash federations across the globe are announcing plans to help the sport bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic with several exciting initiatives on World Squash Day.
World Squash Day is 50 days away today and the theme for this year’s celebration on Saturday October 9th is to focus on the fun aspects of the sport after the challenges of lockdown.
Across the world, numerous federations are planning major campaigns to re-engage with former players and attract a new generation of squash lovers.
Squash New Zealand:
This year Squash New Zealand, districts and clubs are dedicating World Squash Day to a new partnership with the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation.
Squash NZ Chief Executive Martin Dowson said: “This year it is the 20th anniversary of World Squash Day which is a chance to promote the sport worldwide. New Zealand will be the first nation in the world to begin the day’s events and we look forward to an opportunity to highlight the positive aspects of the sport.
“Our Purpose to ‘continue to enhance the health and happiness of our communities via playing squash and a sense of belonging in our clubs’ meant working with the Mental Health Foundation of NZ to bring our organisations together to create the perfect partnership.
“We aim to create a society free of discrimination and where everyone can enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing. Exercise, connectivity, and a sense of belonging plays a large role in everyone’s wellbeing.
“We will be opening our doors to everyone in the public for everyone to enjoy our great game. We will be participating in a 12-hour Squash marathon from 8am – 8pm on 9th October.
“We will be aiming to get as many players (both new and old) as we can onto this court to take part in continuous play. While this is happening, we will also have a series of fun challenges to compete in.”
The fundraising website is now live here
Squash Australia are launching a new national awareness campaign on World Squash Day as a major part of a new marketing and communications strategy.
CEO Robert Donaghue said: “We are looking forward to World Squash Day 2021 which will give us another opportunity to celebrate our great sport.
“We will also launch our new national awareness campaign as we embark on a new era for the sport in Australia and look to take squash to a broader market and introduce both young and old to the benefits and opportunities our sport can offer.”
Squash Canada President Sandra Thompson is busy encouraging every club in her country to gear up for the big day and embrace the ethos of the occasion.
She said: “Squash Canada is eagerly counting down the 50 days to World Squash Day. We are all looking forward to celebrating the game we love as well as reflect on our recent challenges that COVID-19 presented and how best to move forward.
“This year, more than any other year, let’s all get out on the courts, racquets in hands, camaraderie blazing, and play squash.
“We have our World Squash Day toolkit and we can all make this the best World Squash Day in history. Squash Canada challenges all clubs and players to post photos of your World Squash Day activities on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) by tagging @squashcanada and @WorldSquashDay. Canada looks forward to celebrating with the rest of the world. 50 days and counting.”
England Squash Chief Executive Mark Williams said: “This year’s World Squash Day campaign is a unique opportunity to reunite the squash community following a tough year for the sport and celebrate squash’s return.
“We look forward to working with clubs and venues to deliver another successful campaign that will get lots more players back on court enjoying our great game.”
In the past two years, England Squash have launched two successful, creative initiatives in conjunction with World Squash Day.
In 2019, almost 200 clubs signed up to a development project that included starter packs from Karakal. Last year clubs flocked to engage with a team event led by former World Champions Nick Matthew and Laura Massaro.
World Squash Day links.
World Squash Day website: www.worldsquashday.net
World Squash Day graphic courtesy of Robert Pacey (Squash Republic)
Free Art Files available to download from Squash Republic here