Fight to save Squash courts in Gidea Park

Following on from our blog post on the epidemic issue of Squash court removal from both private health clubs and public leisure centres, we were alarmed about a fight to save the courts at David Lloyd Leisure, Gidea Park, in Essex.

Squash members of Gidea Park

Photo: Gidea Park Squash Members (credit: iPetition)

The Essex-based club is looking to convert its Squash courts into a Blaze Studio; yes, it sounds odd and many have asked why the high-end is looking to dispense its Squash courts for an unproven fitness fad.

Honestly, David Lloyd Leisure is not thinking strategically and could suffer in the long run, especially when it comes to the growth of Squash.

Squash locals call upon the Squash community

Members of David Lloyd Leisure have taken to Twitter to get support from the Squash community and launched a petition to save the 3 Squash courts at their club; there has been a mention of lobbying England Squash and Squash professionals behind the fight.

Squash Coaching

Squash Coaching at Gidea Park (Credit: Racket Academy)

On the face of it, David Lloyd Leisure is a high-end tennis club, with strong LTA links, but they should not show favouritism toward Tennis; as it could severely impact on membership base, and create a poor brand image by discriminating against other sports.

From a strategic perspective, David Lloyd Leisure needs to think about their brand values and position in the health club market in terms of perceptual mapping are they a health & fitness brand or a health & sports brand, to the public David Lloyd Leisure clubs are heavily recognised as health & racquets club.

Squash v Tennis – the fight continues

To conclude, let us not forget Squash is on a resurgence of being a trendy sport again, following the recent successes of UK Squash stars such as Laura Massaro, Nick Matthew, Sarah-Jane Perry, and James Wilstrop in global tournaments plus the Commonwealth Games.

Also last year, researchers at the top sporting universities stated that Squash is the healthiest sport to prolong life.

The management board of David Lloyd Leisure needs to consider this and show its equal support to Squash like Tennis – especially when it comes to sporting opportunities for young people and widening participation for those of disadvantaged backgrounds.

Remember fitness fads come and go, but Squash has been around longer than any fitness class and will never change or go our fashion.


We are supporting the fight to save the Squash courts at David Lloyd Leisure Gidea Park, to sign the petition: click here.