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Essex joins South-East counties to spearhead new squash initiatives

Four South East counties are being supported by England Squash to inspire a new generation of players to the sport.

The London Squash project will see Kent, Middlesex, Surrey, and Essex work collaboratively to spearhead a number of squash initiatives across the capital over the next five years. The conceptual idea for the project was brought to the group by the chair of Middlesex, Tim Taylor, who has been fundamental in building the foundations within London together with the regional Development Officer Chris Vine.

The initial action phase will see the re-introduction of squash into the London Youth Games 2024, with at least 16 London Boroughs entering teams.

The London Youth Games will further accelerate the sport’s ambitions to drive inclusivity and grow participation. Last year’s event saw 43% of participants coming from ethnically diverse communities, with a total of 151,033 young people taking part in the School Games events.

Schools throughout the home counties will also be encouraged to introduce and deliver racket skill development programmes in curriculum sessions, whilst also ensuring a multitude of qualified coaches are available to encourage inspired youngsters to take up the sport.

In order to capitalise on the initial interest generated through the London Youth Games and make a real impact, the project team will work with influential partners including Rackets Cubed and Squash Squared who already operate successful community development programmes.

With a focus on new and diverse audiences, clubs in the capital will have the opportunity to deliver England Squash development programmes including Squash from the Mosque, Mixed Ability Squash and Squash Girls Can.

These will encourage people who have not been able to participate previously to get involved and support more people to reach their full potential in the sport.

Commenting on the London Squash project and the opportunity, Jo Rowbottom, Head of Partnerships and Communities at England Squash, said:

“We’re delighted to support this initiative and look forward to working with the London team to make a real impression on squash in London.”

David Neller, Project Chair and Chair of Essex Squash added:

“The four home counties have been working on this project for some time, and we are convinced that our collective efforts can make a real impact on squash in London. The potential in all the London Boroughs is enormous. The Support of England Squash, London Sport and the London Youth Games in getting this project underway has been invaluable and we look forward to developing other partnerships as we move forward.”

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