With Squash provision being under lockdown because of the global pandemic, outdoor Squash courts could solve ensure people can play without restrictions.
Obviously, there is going to be a social distancing guidelines, along with making participants have no signs of COVID-19 symptoms (notably a persistent cough and high temperature) it would be the best way for friends to meet up in an outdoor setting, and it would help improve the health and wellbeing of people, who feel isolated.
In the past, there have been significant developments in Squash, but it looks like outdoor Squash courts could be the one thing that could help save the sport during lockdown when venues are closed.
Essential for grassroots
Recently, England Squash launched a petition to lobby the government to provide financial support to sports and leisure venues during lockdown because of the second wave of the pandemic.
However, from a Squash enthusiast perspective, the UK should look to develop outdoor Squash courts in parks, as it would help save local grassroots developments.
Given the issues facing young people in relation to health and wellbeing during lockdown, outdoor Squash courts could be an outlet for them to see their friends from their Squash academy.
Making Squash accessible
COVID-19 has made access to sports venues near enough impossible in terms numbers of participants.
Squash Para Todos, an El Salvador-based community squash programme Squash Para Todos, is developing new outdoors squash complex in partnership with global non-profit organisations Glasswing International & Latin America’s Sports Reimagined.
The venue will house four courts and have a scope of helping disadvantaged children in the community access to the sport.
Now this kind of project will put them ahead of other local Squash initiatives in the country.
Meanwhile, in New York, Robert Gibralter, of Maspeth Welding Arts; developed an outdoor Squash court with a difference – made from steel and built to the same size requirements of an indoor court.
The venue is great for friends and family to play Squash, plus its COVID friendly – given some health authorities dubbed the sport a significant high risk to resume.
Thankfully, this is not case as most leisure venues equipped with Squash courts follow health & safety guidelines to ensure that all staff and members’ safety are a priority in the form of new rules & regulations to adhere too,
Some venues with a governed by a management committee have rewritten their club constitutions to make staff have enough time to clean the courts between usage amongst members and guests to the venue.
Looking at the both Squash Para Todos and Squash Republic venues show there is a demand for outdoor Squash courts and solve ensuring young children (and Squash playing families) can continue to play the sport despite the lockdown restrictions.
The social impact of the pandemic on Squash has led many to think about ways of keeping the sport alive given as venues have required to close for several weeks; so leaving those members being unable to play and socialise.
Outdoor Squash courts are not only a workable solution to saving the sport, but it can help recreational players keep their skills active and improve their wellbeing too.
In addition, there could be more development of Squash academies in the local community too with some using it as a base there during the summer months.
In terms of cost, it would be joint initiative between public and private funding with an emphasis of affordable rates for local youth groups.
Overall, let’s hope that other Squash playing countries, such as England – consider having outdoor Squash courts in cities and towns where there is a powerful community, in order to help make a difference and also bring community cohesion.