Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.
In a recent article written by Andrew Shelley, World Squash Federation Executive Director, he wrote about something I’ve been talking about for a very long time, emphasizing that squash clubs haven’t evolved enough regarding their facilities and general venue environments. Here’s what Andrew had to say…
“Squash is a sport played by colorful people – but at colorless clubs! All-glass show-courts offer a variety of wall and floor colors, as do the general environments, but we haven’t always come far enough forward from white plaster courts which were around from a time way back when motoring pioneer Henry Ford told the world that they could buy his cars in any color, as long as it was black. Squash courts, like cars, can be bought in many pastel colors now, whether plaster or panel, so why are so many squash courts still featuring white walls? Wouldn’t the club be more inviting if the walls were constructed of light pastel shades of color? Food for thought for owners and operators of squash clubs!”
Expanding on Andrew’s thoughts, not only would the “look” of the venue be more attractive when building new squash courts using colors, but doing that could be much more economical as well. How many (lovely) courts have you seen, but displaying ugly BLACK ball marks practically covering the whole back of the side walls? Many I’m sure!
Just think, pretty blue walls with NO marks on them at all. Possible…of course! As with the all-glass blue, green, yellow, etc. squash court walls, a WHITE ball is and could be used, requiring no maintenance or cleaning of the walls.
Additionally, much scientific study has occurred regarding the use of “colors” as a way to improve, not only the “look” of whatever environment, but also improve and impact the teaching/learning/playing process. Color influences student and player attitudes, behaviors and the learning and/or playing process.
In fact, it has been cited that one of the most important reasons for using color effectively is in learning, development and performance environments. These reasons include that color affects a student’s and player’s attention span, concentration, focus and their sense of spacial awareness.
It’s even been found that paint color in schools – especially carefully planned color schemes, positively affect academic achievement. So…why not squash performance! It’s been suggested that the proper use of color can convert an atmosphere that is depressing and monotonous, i.e stark white walls, etc., into one that is pleasing, exciting and stimulating. It was concluded that such change in color schemes could reduce intimidation (especially with female players) and promote positive feelings about venues. It was also declared that colors influence muscular tension and motor control skills.
From these findings, it is evident that lighting and color choices play a significant role in the achievement of students and players alike. So…the next time you plan on, or just hear of a new squash facility being built or renovated, you’ll know what to advise and/or recommend. Build colorful squash courts!