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Squash: Thinking Outside the Box

Squash is a wonderful sport, it’s fun, exciting, great for your health and mental wellbeing, a sport that is ideally suited to our fast-paced life and the British climate.

Why then, unless you actually play the game, has squash little or no visibility to the outside world? Perhaps it is that we are a sport that is played in a box, indoors, away from the eyes of the public!

Covid renewed our love of the outdoors, we loved every walk, run and bike ride, it energised and freed us, even if it was only for an hour. During the restrictions, indoor sports suffered, none more so than squash.

Could we then combine this new found love of the outdoors and bring our incredible game to the community by taking it outside? Let us revolutionise the sport by building outdoor squash courts. 

Squash Para Todos
As an example, these outdoor squash courts are cheaper to build than the standard approved squash court. (These 4 courts are smaller than the size of 1 tennis court) Outdoor squash will give people of all ages the opportunity to try a sport that has been hidden from view and by increasing its visibility the sport of squash can begin to regenerate. When people see these courts we want them to be inquisitive, to be wowed and motivated to try something new. To pick up a racket and a ball and go and have fun. (Credit – Squash Para Todos)

Why then, unless you actually play the game, has squash little or no visibility to the outside world? Perhaps it is that we are a sport that is played in a box, indoors, away from the eyes of the public!

The outdoor courts do not need to be high spec or even a standard size, a more functional design could be used. A 4 sided court would be ideal as you can see from the example above, though a 3 sided court with no back wall could also be considered.

The height of the front wall could be lower and using a concrete floor or a more porous, rubberised surface to help drain away the rain could be used, though this would be more expensive.

Why should we build outdoor squash courts? Squash has preached for years about how great the game is but no one has been listening, except the already converted.

For squash to stop the decline in participation, we need to sow the seeds and begin to grow the game to a new audience.

Read: Squash Down Under needs a drastic overhaul

The outdoor squash courts are just one way that we can revolutionise the way we sell the game to the public, no longer a closed-off sport, but a sport that is open to everyone.  

Outdoor courts should be strategically placed within close proximity to existing clubs. The courts could be run in partnership with the council and local clubs, where the professional coaching team, can deliver comprehensive schools and community programme. For the remainder of the time, they could be available to the general public. 

The idea of hitting or kicking a ball against a wall is something that most people have done as a child and these introductory courts are the game of squash at its simplest and purest form.

The aim is that over time it would be expected that people who are trying squash outside will want to progress to trying squash inside, using clubs that are close by.

  • Rejuvenate, re-invent and make it relatable (to widen participation)
  • Enthusiasm and enlightenment through education
  • Support small / sponsor and mentor
  • Community – clubs, council, business involvement 
  • Upgrade and utilise existing facilities
  • Enjoyment for everyone – all-inclusive environment

The idea of hitting or kicking a ball against a wall is something that most people have done as a child and these introductory courts are the game of squash at its simplest and purest form.

This pandemic has given us time to think, ask questions, re-evaluate how the game is seen and marketed to the non-playing community and become more creative. The sport needs a rescue plan, squash needs to think outside the box.


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