New program courts female squash players
BY AMBER WILSON
Squash Vic’s Hits & Giggles program aims to get women and girls involved by inviting them to take part in a non-competitive, friendly and social hit.
Squash Vic executive director Fiona Young hopes the program will change women’s understanding of the game.
“The perception of squash is that you’ve got to be fit to play it, and that it’s quite hard. But what we’re trying to get out there is that you get fit by playing it, and that there are different types of balls, so it’s not quite so hard,” she says.
“It’s similar to tennis – men’s tennis is about smash and bash, whereas women’s tennis is a lot about placement.”
The Squash Vic sessions include one hour of coaching each week for six weeks. The first round has just finished, with round two beginning in April.
Young says squash is ideal for helping people get into shape. “A 60-minute game of squash can burn up to 840 calories – equivalent to three Snickers bars – as well as giving excellent all round health benefits, particularly for the heart and lungs,” she says.
“You’re using 50 per cent more muscles than running, so as a result, you’re burning twice the fat. Squash can also help build strong muscles in the legs and buttocks, and provides significant improvement to muscle tone.”
Squash Vic development co-ordinator Tegan Doherty says the Hits & Giggles program is not just about fitness; it’s also about bringing women together for fun and friendship.
Hits & Giggles participant Amy Stephenson says she had never played squash before, but wanted to join her fiance, who is a huge fan of the sport. The 28-year-old trains each week with a group of friends, who each pay $10 for a session.
“Some of the girls have never held a racquet before and some have played tennis before, but each week we work on technique and where to place our feet,” she says. “I thought it was just for blokes and that it was pretty fast paced and that made it inaccessible for a beginner.
“But the beautiful thing about this program is it’s making squash accessible for people of all fitness levels.” ■
Details: visit squashvic.com.au