Despite countries being in lockdown, throughout February, there were some interesting developments in Squash:
Squash collaborate with leading sports and company to accelerate development
Infront, a Swiss based sport and marketing company formed long-term strategic partnership with the Professional Squash Association. The deal will see the sports marketing agency take a minority stake in Squash Media & Marketing (SMM), a new company formed to manage and monetise the commercial rights of sport’s governing body.
The partnership will also incorporate Squash’s associations such as the World Squash Federation and with this kind of development shows that Squash is an attractive business to invest in, given the latest innovations such as InteractiveSquash to grow participation.
Egoli Squash break down barriers in Squash
In the past, we have always highlighted there are many emerging nations in Squash; so news of Egoli Squash; a sports initiative for children from disadvantaged areas of Johannesburg, South Africa, is a welcome news for sport and will be a major influence in getting more children from their local community to take up the sport.
Squash in South Africa came about in the early 20th century by the British military, and was seen as an elitist sport in private schools – but now this changed thanks to the great work that the initiative is doing with children, through mentoring its athletes on and off the court, providing coaching, homework support and life skills training.
The grassroots sports programme is both a partner of the PSA Foundation and Laureus Sports for All initiative; a global programme that helps brings sports activities to the disadvantaged youth.
Squash legend named World Games Greatest Athlete of All Time
A poll by International World Games Association, Squash legend Nicol David named World Games Greatest Athlete of Time.
Her accolade highlights the fact that Squash is not only excellent racquet activity, but deserves to be in the Olympics.
Having retired from some years ago, Nicol David is still having a lasting impact through her ambassadorial work for the sport.
New After-School Squash Program facility in the motor city
When you think of famous things from Detroit, instantly you think of the Ford Motor Company and Motown, soon Squash will be having that claim to fame; as Racquet-Up Detroit, a non-for-profit after-school grassroots initiative announced plans for a new 19,000 sq.ft building in which a further 100 students will have the opportunity to take up the sport.
Recently, Squash in the US is on a going through major revival now, so news of more provision for young people shows how serious the superpower is in being a challenge to the sports powerhouses – Egypt, England, and Australia.
Sporting Chance and Squash team up to tackle mental health
As we all know, Squash is excellent sport for enhancing your health and wellbeing, so news of a partnership with Sporting Chance on a new initiative to lead the charge to help increase awareness of mental health through the charity’s services and engagement with fellow athletes and organisations, is a great collaboration for both parties.
The appointment of Mary Fung-A-Fat (Guyana) and Lucas Serme (France) as ambassadors is a major milestone for the sport, as it playing a crucial part in braking down the taboos about mental health.
UK Squash phased return
The UK government announced on 22nd February 2021 a roadmap of non-essential services will reopen after a 3-month lockdown; in the context of Squash venues, this will not be until 12th April.
Personally, now this sounds good for gyms and health clubs, but it would be ideal for some independent Squash venues without fitness facilities to open sooner as a means to restart the grassroots provision for children to have an outlet alongside their educational activities.
With news of people getting their vaccination, shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic – but in the case of Squash from a grassroots level, there needs to be some form of support to ensure that young people do not lose interest in the sport.
As for Squash venues, these should not have been closed down temporary – just like gyms/leisure centre/health clubs they are essential for peoples physical and mental health; personally home-based exercises are good but if you can’t play or pick up racquet to practice drills you are bound to rusty.
Furthermore, evidence has shown that attendee to Squash venues have no-risk of catching Covid-19.
Overall, Squash looks in better shape now with the strategic alliance and investment by Infront and new opportunities for young people.
Let us hope in the new normal the sport will be at forefront of sports and seen as sport for social and health benefits, as well being the greatest sport for community cohesion.