Squash Stars launched to get youngsters interested in sport
- Credit: England Squash
With the Commonwealth Games kicking off in just a few months, the hype is starting to build around the country.
Whilst many have their sights set on which of their favourite athletes will come out on top and win gold, others are asking how the Games will support getting young people active.
In 2018, Australia’s Gold Coast saw some of the most inspiring shocks in sporting history as England’s netball squad beat the Aussies in their own backyard and squash star James Willstrop upset the odds to claim gold.
Now with the Games set to take place on home soil in August, England Squash has launched Squash Stars, a nationwide junior squash participation initiative to attract thousands of girls and boys to the game.
The six-week programme, delivered by participating clubs and venues from June, will introduce children aged five to 11 to the fun game of squash. A host of squash clubs up and down the country have signed up to the initiative and will be delivering sessions in Highgate.
Stormont Lawn Tennis & Squash Rackets Club has signed up to the initiative, with more information available on the Squash Stars website.
Squash Stars will help children learn fundamental skills to play squash, and develop hand-eye coordination, racket work, movement and match play through action-packed fun games and drills delivered by specially trained leaders.
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Willstrop expressed his delight at the launch of Squash Stars, saying: “Sport has the power to improve lives, from all ages, and it’s really important to get involved as early as you can.
"As elite athletes, we have a role to play in helping to highlight the many benefits sport has to offer – including physical and mental wellbeing. I really hope these 5-11 year olds that take part in Squash Stars really enjoy not just playing squash, but getting involved in sport and have fun in the process.”
All Squash Stars will receive six group coaching sessions, and a free racket, a ball, bag and goggles to help them get in the game.
Jo Rowbottom, Head of Partnerships and Communities at England Squash, added: “Squash Stars is all about being active, having fun and making friends in a safe and inclusive setting.
"It’s a particularly exciting year for the sport and we’re thrilled to launch Squash Stars ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and inspire a new generation of players. This initiative supports our long-term efforts to grow the game and will build on the fantastic work clubs do already in engaging their local communities.”
Parents can now enrol their child onto the programme starting via www.squashstars.co.uk.