Sport and physical activity plays an important role in maintaining multiple aspects of our health, from physical fitness to mental wellbeing. However, for many people, the social interaction from taking part in sport is just as important. During these unprecedented times of lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus, many sports have tried to adapt their offering to continue to interact with their members as best as possible.
This is no different for Scottish Squash who are also looking for new avenues to communicate with their members. To offer them different ways to interact with their sport, or to offer a way for new players a way to become involved. Allan McKay, Head of Coaching & Competitions at Scottish Squash said;
“We wanted to ensure we continued to engage with these players so they felt confident to return to squash when the lockdown eases.”
Creating Professional Development
As the scale of the lockdown circumstances became evident, Scottish Squash realised that they would need to restructure what their short-term communications would look like. They began to develop new projects – and even found an ideal time to produce some high quality coach development content, something which they had been looking to do for a while.
It had been a desire for a while for Scottish Squash to digitally offer their coaches a strong CPD offering and saw this unique situation as an opportunity to explore this space. A fleet of Coach Development Webinars were swiftly organised and advertised for all coaches to tune in to at no cost. The speakers were a combination of Scottish Squash’s own high-performance team as well as introducing other respected experts from further afield, such as Hadrian Stiff, Founder of Elite Squash.
Allan Mckay discussed the project;
“Prior to the lockdown we had been looking at how we enhance our coach development programmes to support coaches but also create a network of squash coaches across Scotland. The lockdown provided the perfect opportunity to pilot an offering.”
These were accessed by coaches from 10 different countries and 3 different sports looking to learn from the fleet of experts that had been lined up.
Toolkit of Resources
Scottish Squash also set up a section of their website dedicated to pulling together both the latest news on the response to COVID-19 and the best resources to help you develop your squash skills while in lockdown.
“The Toolkit area of the website was designed to help people find what they need, whether that’s information on squash returning, supporting coaches with their development or even just looking to keep up-to-date with how Scottish athletes have been adapting their training during lockdown” said Allan Mckay.
The toolkit was loaded with content, including the new School Squash Resource’s which were due to be launched at a later part of the year. The decision to launch early was taken as the resource contained many drills and exercises which could easily be adapted to a home setting.
Also included was the new fleet of Scottish Squash podcasts. The podcast series had pivoted to the new situation to become the “Scottish Squash: Stay at Home” podcast, where the Squash community discussed the ways in which the squash community had adapted to their new situation.
Scottish Squash’s Director of Squash, Paul Bell, spoke about the podcasts;
“The purpose of the podcast was to add to our communication methods to members and the Scottish squash playing community."
"We aim to keep them updated with anything new going on with the organisation and highlight any new initiatives coming up.”
He was also very clear on the important role that the Scottish Squash athletes have had on the success of the toolkit of resources;
“The athletes have been great during this period with getting involved with the podcast, starring in instructional videos for players to help their at home training and also hosting video calls with our pathway athletes to ensure they stay enthused and engaged with the sport.”
Find Out More
Access the Scottish Squash COVID-19 Toolkit
About Squash in Scotland
About Squash on Sport First